The Scottish government approved the project, which will be the United Kingdom’s first ever offshore wind farm, this week. The wind farm will be built off the coast of Peterhead, Scotland — the easternmost point of mainland Scotland.
The project, known as Hywind Scotland, is expected to power 19,900 homes, according to a press release. Statoil, an oil and gas company, will build a pilot park of 6 Mw turbines that will generate a capacity of 135GWh of electricity each year.
The turbines will be attached to the seabed using an anchoring system and three-point mooring spread.
A Hywind unit is between 170 to 200 meters (558 to 656 feet) tall, 70 to 90 meters (230 to 295 feet) of which is underwater. Wind and rough water conditions will determine where in the sea the turbines can be secured.
Research from Carbon Trust, a not-for-dividend company that helps organizations reduce their carbon emissions, claims floating wind concepts can reduce generating costs to below 100 pounds ($153) per MWh, with concepts like Hywind Scotland lowering costs even further to 85-95 pounds ($130-$145)/MWh.
The current global average levelized cost of electricity for offshore projects is 112 pounds/MWh ($172/MWh).
“The momentum is building around the potential for floating offshore wind technology to unlock deeper water sites,” Scotland’s Deputy First Minister John Swinney wrote in the press release. “The ability to leverage existing infrastructure and supply chain capabilities from the offshore oil and gas industry create the ideal conditions to position Scotland as a world leader in floating wind technology.”