Hywind Scotland, the world’s first floating offshore windfarm, has started to deliver electricity to the Scottish grid, having been formally opened by the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon.
The 30 MW windfarm, operated by Statoil in partnership with Masdar, is 25 km offshore Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
“Hywind can be used for water depths up to 800 m, thus opening up areas that so far have been inaccessible for offshore wind,” said Statoil’s executive vice president of new energy solutions, Irene Rummelhoff.
The first minister said “I am delighted to open Hywind Scotland. This marks an exciting development for renewable energy in Scotland. Our support for floating offshore wind is testament to this government’s commitment to the development of this technology and, coupled with Statoil’s battery storage project, Batwind, puts us at the forefront of this global race and positions Scotland as a world centre for energy innovation.”
“Statoil has an ambition to reduce the cost of energy from the Hywind floating windfarm to €40-60 per megawatt hour by 2030,” said Ms Rummelhoff. “Knowing that up to 80% of offshore wind resources are in deep waters (+60 m), where bottom-fixed installations are not suitable, floating offshore wind is expected to play a significant role in the growth of offshore wind going forward.”
RenewableUK’s chief executive, Hugh McNeal, said “Floating offshore wind opens up new opportunities for us to build offshore windfarms in much deeper waters than before, where wind speeds are even higher. The extraordinary Hywind project is being watched around the world, as floating offshore wind has the potential to be exported globally, with the UK at the heart of this ground-breaking technology. Innovation is key to the government’s Industrial Strategy, and this is a great example of how offshore wind continues to push the parameters, creating thousands of jobs and delivering billions investment to the UK”.
The Carbon Trust’s chief executive, Tom Delay, said “A decade ago the Beatrice offshore wind demonstrator in the Moray Firth was the world’s first deep-water project with fixed foundations. Today marks another crucial milestone in the development for offshore wind, and again it is happening in Scotland – the world’s first commercial floating wind project.
"This will be the beginning of a drive to expand the global deployment of offshore wind to areas where fixed foundations are not feasible. We can say with confidence that floating wind is viable. However it is crucial that innovation continues to drive down costs and the right policy is in place to increase investment.”