The world’s first floating wind farm, which is located off the Scottish coast, officially starting operating earlier this month, generating energy for the first time since its completion on 18th October.
Hywind Scotland is a collection of floating turbines which is owned and operated by Statoil. The firm has been perfecting its design of these turbines for a number of years and with its anchor system these turbines can be installed in areas with water depths of up to 800m.
Irene Rummelhoff, Executive Vice President of the New Energy Solutions business area at Statoil, said that floating offshore wind will play a “significant role in the growth of offshore wind” because “up to 80 per cent of wind resources are in deep waters (+60m) where traditional bottom fixed installation are not suitable”.
She also revealed that Statoil is committed to significantly lowering the cost of the energy generated by such installations, starting with Hywind Scotland.
This new wind farm has the capacity to provide power for up to 20,000 homes, showing just how important this technology could be in meeting our future energy needs.
Of course, new technology like this will present new challenges in terms of maintenance. Ensuring that robust and effective emergency response plans are in place to handle any incident will be a key part of the operator’s safety provision.
The growth of offshore wind doesn’t seem to be slowing, with a new centre of excellence focusing on wind technology set to be established in the Humber area in the coming years.