The world’s first floating wind farm
In 2014, wind power generated 9.3 percent of the UK’s electricity requirement, and that figure is set to grow substantially if a pilot scheme in the North Sea is successful. The Hywind pilot park, off the northeast coast of Scotland, is the world’s first floating wind farm, which will generate enough power for 20,000 homes when it becomes operational in 2017.
While most appreciate the value of wind turbines and its ability to provide an excellent source of renewable energy, many have a ‘not in my back yard’ attitude and complain of the visual and noise pollution they create. The Hywind pilot park, created by Norwegian oil company Statoil in collaboration with the Scottish government, will bypass these complaints by operating 15 miles offshore. The wind farm will cover four square meters, at a water depth of 95-120 meters, with each turbine having a capacity of six megawatts. The farm will benefit from stronger and more consistent winds of around 19 knots.
The turbines will be moored by catenary cables to a floating cylindrical buoy, rather than being anchored to sea floor towers. This enables the farm to operate further out to sea, opening up the possibility for many other potential deep-water sites.
Where else could Statoil’s floating wind farm operate?