Scotland is home to world’s first floating wind farm
Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon formally opened a £210 million floating wind farm, located off the coast of Peterhead, on 18 October. Standing at around 600ft and weighing 11,500 tonnes, the wind farm, which is a world first, can generate enough electricity to power 20,000 homes.
The project, known as Hywind, has been in development for more than 15 years, and is installed in water depths of up to 129m using mooring lines attached to the seabed. Usually, wind farms that are positioned on the seabed are at depths of around 50m.
Norwegian firm Statoil, which developed the project, believes floating turbines have the potential to work in depths of up to 800m.
The development was not without protests however. RSPB Scotland opposed the project, stating that, although the technology is a positive for energy, the impact on birds could be exceptionally high. It also believes that approval has already been granted for too many offshore turbines in the area.
Sturgeon praised the wind farm, commenting: “This pilot project underlines the potential of Scotland’s huge offshore wind resource and positions Scotland at the forefront of the global race to develop the next generation of offshore wind technologies.
“In addition to the green benefits of renewable energy, it also has a very significant contribution to make to our economy.”
Image credit: Oyvind Gravas