Sturgeon to open world's first floating wind farm off Peterhead


Supporters hope it will mark the start of a new era of offshore wind power, allowing developers to deploy turbines in deeper water where the wind is stronger and capable of delivering higher yields. Earlier this year, in January, Abu Dhabi's renewable energy company, Masdar, acquired a 25% stake in the project.

Now hooked-up to the Nexans-supplied interarray and export cables, the daisy-chained turbines will flow power into the Scottish grid.

Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland and leader of the Scottish National Party, will be contributing to the panel discussion on Accelerating the Energy Transition and showcasing the Country's commitment to a sustainable future during the 8th Sustainable Innovation Forum. Located 25km offshore of Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, the project is expected to generate around 135GWh of renewable electricity annually.

With up to 80% of potential offshore wind resource located in deep waters unsuitable for traditional bottom-fixed installations, Statoil believes that floating offshore wind will follow a similar downward cost trajectory of traditional offshore wind projects.

"Scotland has developed an global 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. Linked to the Hywind Scotland project Statoil and partner Masdar will also install Batwind, a 1MWh Lithium battery storage solution for offshore wind energy.

Friends of the Earth Scotland Director Dr Richard Dixon also welcomed the new wind farm, saying: "The wind farm opening off Peterhead is a sign of the great progress that Scotland has made in embracing the renewable energy revolution".

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

Statoil announced in March of 2016 that it would be building a pilot battery storage solution for Hywind Scotland, cheekily named Batwind. The Norwegian oil group developed the technology and now owns the wind farm together with Masdar after selling a 25% stake to the Abu Dhabi renewable energy company in early 2017.

"Hywind Scotland is showing that floating wind technology can be commercially viable wherever sea depths are too great for conventional fixed offshore wind power".

"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".

"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 form renewable sources by 2030". "Offshore wind is already an industrial success story across the United Kingdom, cutting emissions, creating jobs and dramatically driving down costs".