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Statoil launches world's first floating wind farm

Written by  OE Staff Wednesday, 18 October 2017 05:23

First power has been achieved from Statoil and partner Masdar's Hywind Scotland project - the world's first floating wind farm. 

The 30MW wind farm, operated by Statoil, is 25km offshore Peterhead, Scotland, and comprises five, 6MW turbines, at 253m-tall with 154m rotor diameter, and a 30km 33kV export cable. The farm covers about 4sq km in water depths varying between 95—129m. 

The onshore operations and maintenance base for Hywind Scotland is in Peterhead, while the operations center is in Great Yarmouth. Linked to the Hywind Scotland project, Statoil and partner Masdar will also install Batwind, a 1MWh Lithium battery storage solution for offshore wind energy. Statoil says battery storage has the potential to mitigate intermittency and optimize output.

“Hywind can be used for water depths up to 800m, thus opening up areas that so far have been inaccessible for offshore wind. The learnings from Hywind Scotland will pave the way for new global market opportunities for floating offshore wind energy. Through their government's support to develop the Hywind Scotland project, the UK and Scotland are now at the forefront of the development of this exciting new technology. Statoil looks forward to exploring the next steps for floating offshore wind,” says Irene Rummelhoff, executive vice president of the New Energy Solutions business area in Statoil.

The farm was opened by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today. Statoil says recent years have seen significant cost reduction in both the onshore and bottom fixed offshore wind sectors. "Floating wind is expected to follow a similar downward trajectory over the next decade, making it cost competitive with other renewable energy sources," it says. 

“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% of the offshore wind resources are in deep waters (+60 meters) 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,” says Rummelhoff.

Mohamed Al Ramahi, CEO of partner Masdar, says: “Hywind Scotland is showing that floating wind technology can be commercially viable wherever sea depths are too great for conventional fixed offshore wind power. This opens up a number of new geographies, and we are already looking at future opportunities with our partners, building on our existing international portfolio in onshore and offshore wind energy, and solar power.”

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