World's First Floating Wind Farm Starts Production

Hywind Scotland

Published Oct 18, 2017 5:18 PM by The Maritime Executive

Hywind Scotland, the first floating wind farm in the world, has started to deliver electricity to the Scottish grid. 

The 30MW wind farm, operated by Statoil in partnership with Masdar, is located 25 kilometers offshore Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, and will power approximately 20,000 households.
The onshore operations and maintenance base for Hywind Scotland is located in Peterhead, while the operations center is located in Great Yarmouth. Linked to the Hywind Scotland project Statoil and partner Masdar will also install Batwind, a 1MWh Lithium battery storage solution for offshore wind energy. Battery storage has the potential to mitigate intermittency and optimize output.

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.

“Hywind can be used for water depths up to 800 meters, thus opening up areas that so far have been inaccessible for offshore wind,” says Irene Rummelhoff, executive vice president of the New Energy Solutions business area in Statoil. “Statoil has an ambition to reduce the costs of energy from the Hywind floating wind farm to € 40-60 €/MWh by 2030. Knowing that up to 80 percent of the offshore wind resources are in deep waters (+60 meters) where traditional bottom fixed installations are not suitable, floating offshore wind is expected to play a significant role in the growth of offshore wind going forward.”

Statoil already has a sizeable renewables portfolio with an offshore wind portfolio with the capacity of providing over one million homes with renewable energy. Statoil operates the Sheringham Shoal wind farm in the U.K., which has been in production since 2012. The Dudgeon offshore wind farm in the U.K., also operated by Statoil has now been completed and is also in production. In 2016, Statoil also acquired 50 percent of the Arkona offshore wind farm in Germany, which will deliver power in 2019.