Published: Wed, October 18, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

The world's first floating wind farm has begun production

The world's first floating wind farm has begun production

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Hywind would help Scotland meet its "ambitious climate change targets".

Statoil said the turbines could be sited in areas with a water depth of 800m, which have so far been out of bounds for offshore wind.

"Both fixed and floating offshore wind farms are a key part of Scotland and the world's energy future".

It fears thousands of sea birds may be killed by offshore wind farms.

Statoil already has a sizeable renewables portfolio with an offshore wind portfolio with the capacity of providing over 1 million homes with renewable energy.

The onshore operations base for the Hywind project is in Peterhead, but its operations centre is in Great Yarmouth in Norfolk.

Statoil and project partner Masdar are also working on an one megawatt-hour (MWh) battery storage project, called Batwind, that will store clean power generated from Hywind Scotland.

"Scotland has developed an worldwide reputation for modern, renewable energy technologies and Hywind Scotland - the world's first floating wind farm - is testament to that", Sturgeon said ahead of the official opening.

On Wednesday, Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon will formally open the wind farm.

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"This pilot project underlines the potential of Scotland's huge offshore wind resource and positions Scotland at the forefront of the global race to develop the next generation of offshore wind technologies".

Hugh McNeil of industry body RenewableUK said the "extraordinary Hywind project is being watched around the world, as floating offshore wind has the potential to be exported globally".

"That deployment, through Hywind and the Kincardine project [the 50MW floating wind array sited off Aberdeen that is now delayed due to "issues" in its supply chain] will help lower costs for this young sector, increasing the opportunity for Scotland to take advantage of a significant future global market".

Battery storage has the potential to mitigate intermittency and optimize output.

The 2-billion-crown ($251.34 million) pilot project will generate power at a cost of almost 190 pounds ($250.12) per megawatt-hour (MWh), four times the current United Kingdom market price. "Knowing that up to 80 percent 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".

Gina Hanrahan added: "With this kind of innovation and investment and continued political support, Scotland will continue to power towards our target of securing half of all our energy needs from renewable sources by 2030". Statoil operates the Sheringham Shoal wind farm in the United Kingdom, which has been in production since 2012.

The Dudgeon offshore wind farm in the United Kingdom, also operated by Statoil has now been completed and is also in production.

It is Statoil's ambition to cut the costs of energy from the Hywind wind farm to Euro 40-60 (USD 47-71) per MWh by 2030. Statoil recently announced the acquisition of a 40% share in the construction ready 162MW Apodi solar asset in Brazil.

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