World’s largest floating wind farm will be installed in Scotland with oil money

Categories: Wind Power

A fascinating change in the world of technology is in place today.  In past decades, knowledge about upcoming technologies remained in the hands of the corporations, the innovators, and those who kept up with publications.  Today with the internet, the spread of information has created a unique competition of sorts that is going to pan out in an interesting finale.  It used to be that a genius would have a good idea, and then manufacture that idea while it was kept a secret, then sell it to the masses.  Today the masses are ahead of the geniuses.  They see the potential every day on their computer screens, and are demanding wind and solar power for their homes.  Home builders are planning for efficient housing with self-powered options.  

Now at the same time, not wishing to miss the bus, we see big oil begin to step more heavily into renewables with projects such as this:

The world’s largest floating offshore wind development will be installed off the coast of Peterhead after the application has been granted a marine licence by the Scottish Government. It is expected that the Hywind Scotland development could power up to 19,900 houses.

Norwegian Statoil propose developing a pilot park of five floating 6 MW turbines which is to be located approximately 25km off the coast of Peterhead with a generating capacity of 135GWh of electricity each year.

Unlike conventional turbines, Hywind turbines will be attached to the seabed by a three-point mooring spread and anchoring system. The turbines will be connected by an inter-array of cables and an export cable will transport electricity from the pilot park to shore at Peterhead.

The Carbon Trust believe that floating wind concepts have the potential to reduce generating costs to below £100/MWh in commercial deployments, with the leading concepts such as Hywind, with even lower costs of £85-£95MWh.

Welcoming Statoil’s Hywind development after granting consent, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “Hywind is a hugely exciting project – in terms of electricity generation and technology innovation – and it’s a real testament to our energy sector expertise and skilled workforce that Statoil chose Scotland for the world’s largest floating wind farm.

“The momentum is building around the potential for floating offshore wind technology to unlock deeper water sites. The ability to leverage existing infrastructure and supply chain capabilities from the offshore oil and gas industry create the ideal conditions to position Scotland as a world leader in floating wind technology.”

Maggie McGinlay, Director of Energy and Clean Technologies at Scottish Enterprise said: “This announcement is fantastic news for Scotland’s renewables industry as a whole, but in particular our growing offshore wind supply chain. We’ve been working closely with or companies to directly link them with Statoil for some considerable time to ensure they are in the best position possible to take advantage of the significant opportunities we know this development will bring.

“This announcement is a clear indication that Scotland’s growing strengths in off-shore wind are recognised at an international level, and we’ll continue to work closely with our supply chain to ensure they can capitalise on potential opportunities such as this, both here and overseas.”

Statoil’s executive vice president for New Energy Solutions Irene Rummelhoff said: “Floating wind represents a new, significant and increasingly competitive renewable energy source. Statoil’s objective with developing this pilot park is to demonstrate a commercial, utility-scale floating wind solution, to further increase the global market potential. We are proud to develop this unique project in Scotland, in a region that has optimal wind conditions, a strong supply chain within oil and gas and supportive public policies.”

Commenting on the granting of consent, WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: “Successfully developing floating turbines could enable Scotland to secure even more clean energy from offshore wind in the future. With the right political support for offshore wind and other renewable technologies, Scotland is well placed to become the EU’s first renewable electricity nation by 2030.

“As we approach the Holyrood elections, we call on all political parties to set out their plans to create jobs and cut carbon by continuing to grow renewables in Scotland.”

mages via Shutterstock (1, 2) / via Inhabitat

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