In 2015, Statoil received permission to build the first floating wind farm in the world off the Scottish coast. The 30 MW pilot project consisting of five 6 MW floating wind turbines will be located near Buchan Deep, approximately 25 km off the coast of Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, and cover an area of around 4 km2 at a water depth of 95-120 m.
Statoil will utilize its Hywind concept in the pilot project, which has been tested with excellent results in a demonstration project off the Norwegian coast.
The Hywind concept combines known technologies in a completely new setting and opens up the possibility for capturing wind energy in deep-water environments. Based on Statoil’s background in design, installation and operation of floating offshore oil and gas platforms, Hywind has been designed as a slender cylinder structure, chosen as the most feasible and economical concept for a floating wind turbine. The floating structure consists of a steel cylinder filled with a ballast of water and rocks, and it extends 100 meters beneath the sea’s surface.
The Hywind Pilot Project offshore Scotland will involve the installation of five Siemens SWT-6.0-154 turbines with a total height of 178 m and a rotor diameter of 154 m. The turbines will be positioned between 720 to 1,600 m apart and attached to the seabed by a three-point mooring spread and anchoring system. The turbines will be connected by inter-array cables. An export cable will transport the electricity from the park to shore at Peterhead, where it will be connected via an underground cable to the local distribution network.
In addition to the proposed pilot park area and associated offshore and onshore infrastructure, the project will also use a deep-water inshore area to assemble the turbines prior to installation.
Onshore construction is expected to begin in early 2016, followed by offshore construction in 2016/2017. Final commissioning of the pilot park is expected in late 2017.
The Hywind Pilot Park will power approximately 22,000 homes annually and reduce CO2 emissions around 43,000 t per year. The objective of the pilot park is to demonstrate cost efficient and low risk solutions for commercial scale wind parks in deep-water areas around the world.