First commercial floating offshore wind farm nears completion

The fifth and final wind turbine for the Hywind Scotland commercial-scale floating offshore wind farm, a joint project between Masdar and Statoil, has arrived at its final destination, Buchan Deep, 25km east of Peterhead in Scotland.

Earlier this summer, all five turbines were successfully assembled outside Stord, Norway and they have now completed their journey to Scottish waters. Each turbine took four days to be towed across the North Sea where, on arrival, work was immediately started to install anchor lines and perform hook-up operations, taking two to three days per turbine. Final installation is scheduled to be completed in the coming weeks.

Hywind Scotland, a GBP210 million project unveiled in late 2015, is a partnership between Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company and Norway-based international energy company, Statoil. Masdar announced its acquisition of a 25 per cent stake in the project during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in January. Statoil, the project’s lead operator, owns the remaining 75 per cent.

Commenting on this milestone, Bader Al Lamki, Executive Director, Clean Energy at Masdar said: “Hywind Scotland is the world’s first project to accommodate commercial-scale wind turbines on a floating structure. It demonstrates the enormous potential for delivering offshore wind energy in waters up to 1km deep, and represents the next stage in the evolution of the offshore wind industry.

“Masdar is proud to be among the pioneers of renewable energy around the world. Through this important partnership with Statoil, we are combining our vast industry knowledge and expertise and are well placed to advance the adoption this innovative technology in appropriate locations across our key markets.”

The 30 MW wind farm will occupy 4km² of space in an area of the North Sea which records average wind speeds of 10 metres per second. Upon completion later this year, the project will provide around 22,000 UK homes with renewable electricity.

This is the second offshore windfarm project partnership between Masdar and Statoil after the Dudgeon offshore windfarm in East Anglia. Dudgeon, Hywind Scotland and the 630 MW London Array – currently the world’s largest offshore wind farm in operation – will bring Masdar’s gross renewable energy generating capacity in the United Kingdom to more than 1,000 MW.

In total, Masdar has invested in renewable energy projects across the world with a combined value of $8.5 billion (USD).