The Scottish government has approved its installation
It is called the ‘Hywind Scotland Pilot Park’ and will be installed 25 km off the coast of Peterhead in Scotland, an area with optimal wind conditions. The 30MW pilot project will be the largest floating offshore wind development, consisting of five 6MW turbines. Its generating capacity will be 135GWh/year and it will power 20,000 houses.
The turbines will be 258m tall and will be attached to a ballasted steel substructure and anchored to the seabed. The conventional technology for offshore wind turbines is used in a new way, offering lower installation costs and the possibility to install them in deeper waters.
According to the Carbon Trust (a consultant on carbon footprint reduction), floating wind concepts have the potential to reduce generating costs to below £100/MWh ($145) in commercial deployments, with the leading concepts such as Hywind having even lower costs, about £85-£95/MWh ($130).
Statoil has undertaken its construction, hoping that this pilot park will prove to be a commercial, utility-scale floating wind solution, to further increase its global market potential. The idea started in 2001 and Statoil proceeded to develop a full scale prototype in 2009.
The onshore construction will begin in Q2 of 2016, whereas the offshore in Q2 of 2017 and the final commissioning date has been placed in Q4 of 2017.
Image source: Statoil