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World’s first floating offshore wind farm powers up

Words: Roger Milne
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The world’s first floating offshore wind farm was opened this week by Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon and has started to deliver electricity to the grid north of the border.

The scheme has a price tag of nearly £200 million.

Known as Hywind Scotland, the five-turbine 30 MW wind farm, operated by Statoil in partnership with Masdar, is 25 kilometres out to sea from Peterhead on the Aberdeenshire coast and will power about 20,000 households.

Norwegian-based Statoil and its partner Masdar are also installing Batwind, a 1 MWh lithium battery storage facility, which will help mitigate intermittency problems and optimise output.

“Hywind can be used for water depths up to 800 metres, opening areas that so far have been inaccessible for offshore wind” said Irene Rummelhoff, executive vice-president of Statoil’s renewables division.

Sturgeon said: “This marks an exciting development for renewable energy in Scotland. 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 centre for energy innovation.”

Crown Estate Scotland leases the relevant section of the seabed to renewables developers. The organisation’s Sian Wilson said: “It’s fantastic to see Hywind Scotland up and running. The project is a great success for the teams at Statoil and Masdar and for Scotland, where floating wind could really flourish due to our accessible deeper waters.

“We are committed to continuing our work to encourage floating offshore wind projects, which will in turn drive down costs, benefitting the whole sector – as well as the climate and consumers.”

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