Hywind Scotland, the world’s first floating offshore wind farm, has reached the “highest average capacity factor” for any wind farm in the UK for the third consecutive year.
Developer Equinor says the floating offshore wind farm set a new record in the UK, with an average capacity factor of 57.1% in the 12 months to March 2020.
The capacity factor is the ratio of actual energy output over a given period of time, to the maximum possible output – a higher capacity factor means lower intermittency and higher value.
During its first two years of operation, Hywind Scotland achieved an average capacity factor of 54%, in comparison to an offshore wind average in the UK of around 40%.
Sebastian Bringsværd, Head of floating wind development at Equinor said: “It’s great to see the results Hywind Scotland and the floating technology keeps delivering. The potential for floating offshore wind is huge. With access to deeper waters and therefore higher and more consistent wind speeds, floating offshore is not only an efficient way to generate electricity from wind, this exciting technology can also provide jobs and value creation for the countries supportive of floating.
“In the UK alone, we are talking at least 17000 jobs and £33bn GVA by 2050. We believe Scotland has the potential to build a globally competitive offshore wind industry, including a real chance to enhance the development of floating offshore wind.”
Equinor is currently developing a bigger project, Hywind Tampen, off the coast of Norway, which is on schedule to become the world’s largest floating wind farm as well as the first project to use wind energy to decarbonise offshore oil and gas production.