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Floating first for Scotland

The 30MW wind farm in Aberdeenshire will power approximately 20,000 households

The Hywind floating wind farm. Photo: Øyvind Gravås/Woldcam - Statoil ASA
The Hywind floating wind farm. Photo: Øyvind Gravås/Woldcam - Statoil ASA

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 25km offshore Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, Scotland and will power approximately 20,000 households.


“Hywind can be used for water depths up to 800m, thus opening up areas that so far have been inaccessible for offshore wind,” said Irene Rummelhoff, executive vice president of the New Energy Solutions business area in Statoil. “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.”


Hywind was opened by the Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon who said Hywind will provide clean energy to more than 20,000 homes and will help Scotland meet its ambitious climate change targets.”


She said: “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.”


The onshore operations and maintenance base for Hywind Scotland is located in Peterhead, while the operations centre is located in Great Yarmouth, England. 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 optimise output. Crown Estate Scotland leases seabed to renewables developers and works to encourage development and attract investment.


Sian Wilson of Crown Estate Scotland said: “It’s fantastic to see Hywind Scotland up and running. The project is a great success for the teams at Statoil and Masdar and for Scotland, where floating wind could really flourish due to our accessible deeper waters.


"We are committed to continuing our work to encourage floating offshore wind projects, which will in turn drive down costs, benefiting the whole sector—as well as the climate and consumers.”


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.


Statoil has an ambition to reduce the costs of energy from the Hywind floating wind farm to €40-60 €/MWh by 2030.


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