VIDEO: World’s first floating offshore wind farm starts operation

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Hywind Scotland

OCTOBER 18, 2017 — Hywind Scotland, the world’s first floating offshore wind farm, has started to deliver electricity to the Scottish grid.

Operated by Statoil in partnership with Masdar, the 30 MW wind farm consists of five 6 MW turbines and is located 25 kilometers offshore Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, Scotland and will power approximately 20,000 households.

The Hywind floating turbine technology was first conceptualized in 2001, a scale-model was used to model-test the concept in 2005 in Trondheim, Norway and Hywind Demo – the world’s first floating full-scale wind turbine – was installed by Statoil in 2009 in the North Sea.

Linked to the Hywind Scotland project Statoil and partner Masdar will also install Batwind, a 1 MWh lithium battery storage solution for offshore wind energy. Battery storage has the potential to mitigate intermittency and optimize output.

“Hywind can be used for water depths up to 800 m, thus opening up areas that so far have been inaccessible for offshore wind,” says Irene Rummelhoff, executive vice president of the New Energy Solutions business area in Statoil. “The learnings from Hywind Scotland will pave the way for new global market opportunities for floating offshore wind energy.”

“This marks an exciting development for renewable energy in Scotland,” said Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, at an official opening ceremony today. “Our support for floating offshore wind is testament to this government’s commitment to the development of this technology and, coupled with Statoil’s Battery Storage Project, Batwind, puts us at the forefront of this global race and positions Scotland as a world center for energy innovation.”

The onshore operations and maintenance base for Hywind Scotland is located in Peterhead, while the operations center is located in Great Yarmouth.

In recent years, there have been significant cost reductions in both the onshore and bottom fixed offshore wind sectors. Floating wind is expected to follow a similar downward trajectory over the next decade, making it cost competitive with other renewable energy sources.

“Statoil has an ambition to reduce the costs of energy from the Hywind floating wind farm to € 40-60 €/MWh by 2030. Knowing that up to 80% of the offshore wind resources are in deep waters (+60 meters) where traditional bottom fixed installations are not suitable, floating offshore wind is expected to play a significant role in the growth of offshore wind going forward,” says Statoil’s Rummelhoff.

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