World’s First Floating Offshore Wind Farm Begins Operations

Developed by Norwegian state-owned Statoil in partnership with Masdar, the 30-megawatt pilot Hywind Scotland will power roughly 20,000 U.K. households.

The world’s first floating offshore wind farm, Hywind Scotland, has been inaugurated 15 miles off the shore of Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. The 30-megawatt facility has been developed by Norwegian state-owned Statoil in partnership with Masdar and will power approximately 20,000 U.K. households.  

The North Sea pilot project took 16 years to be completed. It comprises five Siemens turbines measuring 584 feet high and 505 feet in diameter. The onshore operations and maintenance base for Hywind Scotland is in Peterhead, while the operations center is in Great Yarmouth. Batwind, a 1-megawatt Lithium battery storage solution for offshore wind energy, will be installed, as it has the potential to mitigate intermittency and optimize output.

A green mix

“The project is a great success for the teams at Statoil and Masdar and for Scotland, where floating wind could really flourish due to our accessible deeper waters. We are committed to continuing our work to encourage floating offshore wind projects, which will in turn drive down costs, benefitting the whole sector—as well as the climate and consumers,” Sian Wilson of Crown Estate Scotland said in a prepared statement.

“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 percent of the offshore wind resources are in deep waters (+197 feet) 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,” added Irene Rummelhoff, executive vice president of the New Energy Solutions at Statoil.

Video courtesy of Statoil