Scotland gives green light to floating wind farm development

The Scottish Government has granted marine licence to Norway-based Statoil for a pilot project, involving construction of an offshore wind farm comprising of five floating 6MW wind turbines.

Planned to be developed approximately 25km off the coast of Peterhead in the North Sea, it is claimed to be the world’s largest floating offshore wind development.

The proposed Hywind Scotland development is expected to have an annual generation capacity of around 135GWh, which is enough power for up to 19,900 households.

Offshore turbines for the project will be connected to the seabed by a three-point mooring spread and anchoring system.

The turbines will be connected to each other with an inter-array of cables, while an export cable will transport electricity from the floating farm to the shore at Peterhead.

Onshore construction works for the project are expected to be done in 2015-16, while the offshore construction has been planned for 2016-17.

Statoil intends to turn the wind farm operational in 2017.

Statoil new energy solutions executive vice-president 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.”

Scottish Enterprise energy and clean technologies director Maggie McGinlay said: “We’ve been working closely with our 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 offshore 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.”