Construction for the world’s first floating wind farm has begun off the coast of Scotland. The wind farm is expected to create enough energy to power 20,000 homes. This groundbreaking occurrence could revolutionize the way the world’s creates energy.
The wind farm project is called Hywind and was actually created by the oil company, Statoil. Leif Delp is the director of the £190m project. Delp told The Independent “This [the project] will further increase the global market potential for offshore wind energy, contributing to realising our ambition of profitable growth in renewable energy and other low-carbon solutions.”
There is already multiple turbines in place and the rest are expected to be constructed by the end of August. Each turbine is 175 meters tall and each tower weighs close to 11,500 tons. In order to prevent the towers from tipping, a device called a spar buoy is used. Each turbine is also built with 3 large suction anchors that are buried deep in the sea floor.
According to the Huffpost, “Unlike conventional wind turbines that are built directly into the seabed, a floating wind turbine can unlock huge swathes of ocean that had previously been considered unusable for wind power.” Traditional turbines are able to work at a depth of 20-50 meters. These new turbines will be able to work at much deeper depths. According to The Independent “The park will be around four square kilometers in size, with each turbine floating at a depth of between 95 and 120 metres.”
If the project is successful, Statoil hopes to expand to waters that were once seen as unusable for renewable energy. Two potential areas that was being scouted are off the west of the U.S. and the area around Japan.
There is one large downside to this project: cost. But lead designers with the Hywind project say they can reduce their costs by 40-50% by 2030, allowing it to be more accesible to more countries.
However, soon this will not be the only floating wind farm. The United Kingdom has designed a project called ‘Hornsea Project 2.’ This project, once completed, will hold the title of world’s largest wind farm as it is expected to power approximately 1.8 millions homes.