The UK’s first floating wind farm is a step closer to becoming a reality after the Crown Estate granted a lease to Statoil to develop the next phase of its Hywind project.
The Crown Estate manages most of Britain’s seabed and is responsible for renewable energy generation rights on the UK Continental Shelf.
The new floating wind farm will be built 20-30 km off the coast of Peterhead, in waters more than 100m deep. It will be made up of five 6MW turbines, giving it a total capacity of 30MW.
The turbines were first used in Norway in 2009 during the initial test phase of Statoil’s Hywind project (pictured). The technology allows turbines to be placed in waters too deep for conventional ones.
Energy Minister Michael Fallon said: “This innovative project will lead to the construction of the first floating offshore wind farms in the UK. This underlines the dynamism of the sector and the UK’s attractiveness as the number one destination for offshore wind development.”
Head of Offshore Wind at The Crown Estate, Huub den Rooijen said: “Investing in new technologies will be crucial to unlocking offshore wind potential over the long term whilst we continue to focus on the current development pipeline.”
Statoil now needs consent from the Scottish Government to press ahead with its plans.