A 30 MW floating wind farm of the coast of Scotland has started producing electricity.
The £210 million Hywind wind farm, thought to be the first commercial facility of its kind, was officially opened by Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, and has been hailed as a major step forward in the commercial development of floating offshore wind technology.
The wind farm features five 6 MW Siemens Gamesa turbines mounted on Navantia floating spar foundations. Owners Statoil and Masdar are also planning to add to the project with a 1 MWh lithium-ion battery energy storage solution.
“Hywind can be used for water depths up to 800 m, thus opening up areas that so far have been inaccessible for offshore wind,” said Irene Rummelhoff, executive vice president of the New Energy Solutions business area in Statoil. “The lessons from Hywind Scotland will pave the way for new global market opportunities for floating offshore wind energy. Statoil looks forward to exploring the next steps for floating offshore wind.”
The Hywind wind farm covers an area of around 4 km2 in water depths of 95-129 m off the northeast coast of Scotland, 30 k m from Peterhead. Statoil is expecting to see a dramatic reduction in the costs of floating offshore wind in the next few decades.
“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 m+) 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,” said Rummelhoff.