Thar She Blows

Hywind Scotland to be world’s first floating windfarm

As if installing wind farms out at sea weren’t ambitious enough, Statoil ASA, a Norwegian multinational oil and gas company headquartered in Stavanger, Norway, is going a step further and developing what it says will be the first floating wind farm off the northeastern coast of Scotland.

The Hywind project off the Scottish coast perpetuates the notion of renewable energy innovations becoming more ambitious.—Statoil photo

As reported by The Guardian, the $260 million Hywind project will include five turbines, a 78-meter-tall underwater ballast, and three mooring lines attached to the seabed to keep the turbines upright. Irene Rummelhoff, head of the developer’s low-carbon division, told The Guardian that floating wind farms currently are limited to water depths between 100 and 700 meters, but she believes they “can go deeper than that.”

Although the Hywind project is modest in comparison with fixed offshore wind farms—it will power sufficient to supply only 20,000 homes—proponents say it’s merely an example of what’s sure to come.


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