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World’s largest floating offshore wind farm to be built off the coast of Scotland


PETERHEAD, SCOTLAND — Scotland’s notoriously strong winds could pan out to be a blessing in disguise after the Scottish government recently approved plans for a floating wind farm right off of the Scottish coast.

According to the Guardian, Statoil, a Norwegian energy company, plans to build a floating wind farm 15 miles off the coast of Peterhead, Scotland by the end of 2017.
The floating wind farm, called the Hywind floating wind farm, will consist of five, 258-meter-high floating wind turbines. Each will have a floating steel tube filled with ballast as their base and they will be tethered to the seafloor by three moorings.

Each of the five wind turbines will have a six-megawatt capacity, and together they will be able to power an estimated 20,000 homes.

Because they’re not actually attached to the seabed, these types of wind turbines are cheaper than traditional ocean turbines and can be placed in deeper waters. Existing offshore wind turbines, which need to stand on concrete or steel foundations, are expensive if anchored to depths greater than 40 meters, reported the Guardian.

Statoil’s goal with this $232 million pilot project is to demonstrate a way to harness wind power that can increase the global market potential for turbines.

Offshore wind is a key component of Europe’s plan to source 20 percent of its total energy consumption from renewables, reported the Independent.