Daily Management Review

Green Light for World's Largest Floating Windfarm in Scotland


Green Light for World's Largest Floating Windfarm in Scotland
The largest floating offshore windfarm in the world is to be developed off the coast of Peterhead after the Scottish government grants consent for it.
Five floating 6MW turbines, part of the 30MW pilot park, is to be built by the oil and gas giant Statoil. The company says that the wind turbines would be able to power nearly 20,000 homes. With construction set to start next year, the project will be the UK’s first ever floating windfarm development.
“Floating wind represents a new, significant and increasingly competitive renewable energy source. Statoil’s objective with developing this pilot park is to demonstrate a commercial, utility-scale floating wind solution, to further increase the global market potential,” said Statoil’s executive vice president for new energy solutions, Irene Rummelhoff.
“We are proud to develop this unique project in Scotland, in a region that has optimal wind conditions, a strong supply chain within oil and gas and supportive public policies,” he added.
The floating windfarms would have turbines that would be attached to the seabed by a three-point mooring spread and anchoring system. The project would be named Hywind Scotland. There would be a network of interconnected cables that not only connect the turbines with one another as well as transfer electricity to the shore at Peterhead from the pilot farm to the shore.  
Floating wind concepts could potentially reduce generating costs for offshore developments to below £100MW as suggested by research from the Carbon Trust. The research also suggests that with larger concepts such as Hywind the costs of producing can be even lower at £85-95MWh. At present the cost of electricity for offshore projects using windmills is at £112MWh.
“Hywind is a hugely exciting project – in terms of electricity generation and technology innovation – and it’s a real testament to our energy sector expertise and skilled workforce that Statoil chose Scotland for the world’s largest floating windfarm,” says Deputy first minister, John Swinney.

“The momentum is building around the potential for floating offshore wind technology to unlock deeper water sites. The ability to leverage existing infrastructure and supply chain capabilities from the offshore oil and gas industry create the ideal conditions to position Scotland as a world leader in floating wind technology,” he added.
Floating offshore wind could be a credible, cost-effective form of low-carbon energy for the UK by the mid-2020’s. This was released by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) last month which is a fillip for the offshore floating windmills.
Swedish floating wind developer Hexicon also threw its support behind the cost competitiveness of floating offshore developments.
 “It’s still a new technology and still needs massive investment to reach this tipping point, but inevitably that’s going to happen. It’s going to take 10 years of massive investment but time is the only real obstacle,” said Hexicon’s international business development director Maurice Jenkens.