Sustainable Energy

World's largest floating wind farm gets go ahead

Anmar Frangoul | Special to
Mike Hill | Photographer's Choice | Getty Images

The world's largest floating offshore wind development is set to be installed off the east coast of Scotland.

According to a release on Monday from the Scottish government, the Hywind Scotland Pilot Park – proposed by Statoil – will be home to five 6 megawatt (MW) floating turbines and have a generating capacity of 135 gigawatt hours of electricity annually.

"Hywind is a hugely exciting project – in terms of electricity generation and technology innovation – and it's a real testament to our energy sector expertise and skilled workforce that Statoil chose Scotland for the world's largest floating wind farm," John Swinney, Scotland's Deputy First Minister, said in a release.

The Scottish government said that the development could provide power for as many as 19,900 homes.

The turbines will be connected to the seabed by what the Scottish government described as a "three-point mooring spread and anchoring system." According to Statoil, the turbines will operate in waters greater than 100 meters in depth.

"Floating wind represents a new, significant and increasingly competitive renewable energy source," Irene Rummelhoff, Statoil's executive vice president for new energy solutions, said in a release.

"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," Rummelhoff added.

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According to a 2015 report from the Carbon Trust, prepared for the Scottish government, "floating wind concepts have the potential for significant cost reduction from prototype to commercial phases of development."

Commenting on the announcement Maggie McGinlay, director of energy and clean technologies at Scottish Enterprise, said that it was "fantastic news" for the renewables industry in Scotland.

McGinlay went on to add that the news, "is a clear indication that Scotland's growing strengths in offshore wind are recognised at an international level."

Offshore construction of the pilot park is set to commence in 2016/17, with final commissioning approximately 2017.

By Anmar Frangoul, Special to; follow him on Twitter @AnmarFrangoul