Floating Scottish offshore windfarm gains planning approval

The Guardian reports, 16th May 2016: The world’s largest floating windfarm is set to be built off the coast of Scotland after its developers were granted a seabed lease on Monday.

Statoil, the Norwegian energy company, expects to have five 6MW turbines bobbing in the North Sea and generating electricity by the end of 2017. The company has already operated a single turbine off Norway.

The Hywind turbine is one of the frontrunners in a global race to develop flotillas of floating wind turbines that can conquer the deep oceans and reap the strongest winds on the planet. Existing offshore wind turbines, standing on concrete and steel foundations driven into the ocean floor, flounder on heavy costs when depths are greater than about 40 metres.

More than 40 projects around the world are in various stages of development. Most are inspired by rugged oil and gas rigs that have weathered storms for decades. Offshore windfarms also largely avoid the difficulties caused by the visual impact of windfarms on land.

More than 90% of the world’s offshore wind capacity is installed in northern Europe, with the UK having the biggest share. But Germany’s offshore wind is growing more quickly than in the UK and development is ramping up in Japan, China and the US. Offshore wind makes up just 3% of all wind power, with most wind turbines being sited on land, but is seen as promising in countries like the UK where getting planning permission for new onshore farms is difficult.

“Floating offshore wind is an exciting technology with huge, global potential, and it’s great to have this world first in Scottish waters,” said Lindsay Roberts, at Scottish Renewables.

An artist’s impression of the world’s largest floating windfarm planned off the coast of Scotland. Photograph: Statoil ASA

An artist’s impression of the world’s largest floating windfarm planned off the coast of Scotland. Photograph: Statoil ASA

Source: The Guardian 16th May 2016. For the full details, see
www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/16/worlds-largest-floating-windfarm-to-be-built-off-scottish-coast


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