The North-east coast of Scotland is bracing itself to host the world’s first full-scale floating wind farm. The farm will be located around 15 miles off the coast and will boast five turbines to provide 30 megawatts of energy and power 20,000 homes collectively.
One of the turbines has already been installed, with the rest of them planned to be placed by the end of August.
Leif Delp, Director of the £190m project Hywind explains the objectives,
“to demonstrate the feasibility of future commercial, utility-scale wind farms.”
“This will further increase the global market potential for offshore wind energy, contributing to realize our ambition of profitable growth in renewable energy and other low-carbon solutions.”
A similar floating turbine has been successfully working in Norway since 2009, so the odds of success of this project are quite bright.
Each turbine in this mega project is 175m high and weighs 11,500 tons. They use a large buoy to stay erect and employ new blade technology to make twisted blades to reduce the impact of wind and currents.
The floating wind farm will be based on a four square kilometers area, with each turbine buoying at a depth between 95 and 120 meters. But unlike normal turbines, the floating turbines will not be attached to the seabed by foundations.
Instead, they will be attached by long mooring tethers that will allow them to be placed in water as deep as one kilometer. This gives them an edge over traditional fixed turbines that can only work at a depth of around 20-50m.