The world’s first floating offshore wind farm, situated roughly 25 kilometers off the coast of Peterhead, Scotland, powered up October 18, delivering electrical energy to the Scottish grid.

Hywind Scotland was developed by Norwegian oil firm Statoil primarily based on the outcomes of an eight-year demonstration undertaking situated off the shore of Karmøy, Norway. The new farm consists of 5 6-MW floating wind generators protecting about four sq. kilometers of water at depths between 95 meters and 129 meters. The farm has a complete put in capability of 30 MW. According to Statoil, the wind farm will energy roughly 20,000 households.

Each turbine is 253 meters excessive, 78 meters of that are beneath the floor. The generators have a rotor diameter of 154 meters with blades which can be 75 meters lengthy. Each turbine weights about 12,000 tonnes and is secured to the ocean ground with 15 suction anchors, every of which is linked to the turbine by 2,400-meter-long chains.

“The learnings from Hywind Scotland will pave the way in which for brand spanking new world market alternatives for floating offshore wind power. Through their authorities’s assist to develop the Hywind Scotland undertaking, the UK and Scotland are actually on the forefront of the event of this thrilling new expertise. Statoil seems ahead to exploring the subsequent steps for floating offshore wind,” Irene Rummelhoff, government vice chairman of New Energy Solutions at Statoil, mentioned in a launch.

Statoil partnered with Masdar on the Hywind Scotland undertaking, investing a mixed $2 billion. Hywind Scotland’s price ticket represents a 60%–70% value discount from the Hywind Demo undertaking.

Statoil and Masdar will even set up a 1-MWh lithium battery storage system for the undertaking.

Open Seas

The Hywind generators are appropriate for water as much as 800 meters deep, opening up areas beforehand inaccessible for offshore wind. Conventional offshore wind generators should be embedded within the sea ground, limiting their use to comparatively shallow areas close to shore. Areas with a slim continental shelf, such because the west coast of the U.S., are all however inaccessible to traditional offshore wind.

Advances in floating offshore wind, subsequently, open up new, doubtlessly profitable markets to the offshore wind business. “Key markets for Statoil’s Hywind are in Europe, Japan and West Coast US. Estimates present that the technical potential for floating wind energy is 6959 GW for Europe, USA and Japan mixed. Of excessive potential markets, we consider Japan can have [3.5] GW put in by 2030, adopted by [2.9] GW in France, 2 GW within the US and eventually [1.9] in Ireland/UK,” in accordance with Statoil’s floating offshore wind market outlook.

The outlook notes that not solely would floating photo voltaic introduce a brand new product to locations just like the U.S. and Japan however that there’s an current demand simply ready to be crammed. “Here, floating installations could possibly be a recreation changer, and the important thing to assembly renewables ambitions. For instance, California has set a goal of 50% renewable power, whereas in Japan, the shift away from nuclear energy will drive the necessity for brand spanking new and dependable power provides,” the outlook says.

Looking Forward

Statoil is already working to develop its subsequent large-scale undertaking, a full-scale floating wind farm that can doubtless be situated in Ireland, France, off the U.S. west coast, Japan, or probably Norway.

Statoil predicts that floating offshore wind, although it’s in its infancy, will see the identical vital value reductions that onshore and standard offshore wind have seen lately.

“Statoil has an ambition to cut back the prices of power from the Hywind floating wind farm to € 40-60 €/MWh by 2030. Knowing that as much as 80% of the offshore wind assets are in deep waters (+60 meters) the place conventional backside mounted installations should not appropriate, floating offshore wind is anticipated to play a big position within the progress of offshore wind going ahead,” Rummelhoff mentioned.


Abby L. Harvey is a POWER reporter.

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