Hywind Scotland, the world’s first floating wind farm, has begun delivering electricity to the Scottish grid. Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, officiated at the opening.
“I am delighted to open Hywind Scotland—the world’s first floating wind farm. Hywind will provide clean energy to over twenty thousand homes and will help us meet our ambitious climate change targets,” said Sturgeon.
The 30MW wind farm, operated by Statoil in partnership with Masdar, is located about 15 miles offshore Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, and will power approximately 20,000 households.
“Through their government's support to develop the Hywind Scotland project, the UK and Scotland are now at the forefront of the development of this exciting new technology. Statoil looks forward to exploring the next steps for floating offshore wind,” said Irene Rummelhoff, executive vice president of the New Energy Solutions business area in Statoil.
The turbines, each approximately 830 feet tall, with 256 feet of that beneath the surface, are tethered to the seabed by chains weighing 1,200 tonnes.
The onshore operations and maintenance base for Hywind Scotland is located in Peterhead, while the operations center is located in Great Yarmouth.
Some of the energy generated by the turbines will be stored in batteries. Statoil and partner Masdar have installed Batwind, a 1MWh Lithium battery storage solution for offshore wind energy. This will help to mitigate the problem of intermittent power generation.
It is expected that floating wind will follow a downward trajectory over the next decade, making it cost competitive with other renewable energy sources.
Irene Rummelhoff, executive vice president of the New Energy Solutions business area in Statoil, explains, “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.”