Construction on Europe’s largest windfarm to start next year

An offshore windfarm. Picture: PA
An offshore windfarm. Picture: PA
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Europe’s largest floating wind farm one step closer to becoming reality following The Crown Estate granting a lease for turbines to be built of Scotland’s east coast.

Statoil will construct the project - set to be the world’s largest floating wind farm - 25km off the coast of Peterhead and it will consist of five 6MW turbines which will be deployed in deeper water than any previous offshore wind turbines around the coast of the UK.

Rather than using fixed foundations on or in the seabed to support the wind turbines, the Hywind development will use a floating steel tube filled with ballast, which is fastened to the seabed. 
The intiative, with a total capacity of 30 megawatts, secured consent from Marine Scotland in October but the Crown Estate - who manage leasing of the seabed - and Statoil had to meet planning, finance and legal requirements to be given the green light.

The company’s onshore work will begin later this year with the turbines due to be erected in 2017 and the first power generated at the end of next year.

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Ronnie Quinn, General Manager of The Crown Estate’s Scotland Portfolio said: “We have been working closely with Statoil, Scottish Government and other partners to help bring forward this innovative project which helps consolidate the position of Scotland and the UK as a global leader in the offshore renewables sector.

Hywind is the first of its kind in the world.

Ronnie Quinn, General Manager of The Crown Estate’s Scotland Portfolio.

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“Hywind is the first of its kind in the world. Its successful operation will demonstrate the viability of floating wind in deep water locations and bring forward cost reduction techniques that will move the whole sector forward.

“By working to share best practice and deploying our expertise in seabed leasing, we’ve been able to support the development of emerging technologies, from floating wind to tidal current energy, placing Scotland in a very strong position to secure global investment in low carbon energy.”

Leif Delp, Project Director for the Hywind Scotland project said: “We are very pleased to develop this project in Scotland, in a region with a huge wind resource and an experienced supply chain from oil and gas.

“Through the hard work of industry and supportive government policies, the UK and Scotland is taking a position at the forefront of developing offshore wind as a competitive new energy source.”

Commenting on the news WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: “Successfully developing floating turbines could enable Scotland to secure even more clean energy from offshore wind in the future.

“With the right political support for offshore wind and other technologies, Scotland is well placed to become the EU’s first renewable electricity nation.”