Hywind Scotland, the first ever floating wind farm, has started to deliver electricity to the Scottish grid, after being officially opened by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
The 30MW wind farm, operated by Statoil in partnership with Masdar, is located 25km off the coast of Aberdeenshire and will power approximately 20,000 households.
Irene Rummelhoff, executive vice president of the New Energy Solutions business area in Statoil, said: “Hywind can be used for water depths up to 800 meters, 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.”
In an opening event in Aberdeen, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon officially opened the wind farm. She said: “I am delighted to open Hywind Scotland—the world’s first floating wind farm. Hywind will provide clean energy to over twenty thousand homes and will help us meet our ambitious climate change targets.”
“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.”
In recent years, there have been significant cost reductions 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.
Mohamed Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar, said: “Masdar has a long-standing commitment to renewable energy in the United Kingdom, and we are immensely proud to deliver our first project in Scotland alongside our partners.
“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.”