A Masdar-backed UK energy project involving five floating wind turbines, each with a 6MW capacity, has passed a major milestone with the installation of their masts onto floating substructures off the coast of Stord, Norway – ready to be towed to the UK.
The installation of the wind turbines involved the lifting of the completed turbine towers, at a weight of 12,000t each, by one of the world’s largest heavy lift vessels, to allow them to be ‘mated’ – through the connection of male and female elements – onto their floating platforms.
The turbines themselves stand 253m tall (or three-quarters the height of the Eiffel Tower), with a 78m mast structure below the water surface, with a rotor blade radius of 77m (or nearly twice the wingspan of an Airbus A380).
The Hywind Scotland wind farm, unveiled in late 2015 and costing $274m (GBP 210m), is being undertaken in a 75:25 partnership between Norwegian energy firm Statoil and the Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company Masdar.
Having been mated onto a floating substructure in Stord, Norway, the turbines will be towed into position 25km out to sea from Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, Scotland and then anchored to the seabed at a 4km2site of the North Sea that records average wind speeds of 10m/sec.
The immense structures have also been built to withstand ocean waves at least 20 metres high and wind speeds exceeding 40 metres per second.
“We are excited to see the world’s first commercial scale floating offshore wind farm move a step closer to completion, demonstrating our long-term commitment to advance the commercialisation of renewable energy technologies,” said Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar.
“The deployment of commercially viable wind energy in deep water marks a new era of growth for wind power, allowing countries to further diversify their energy mix. We are proud to extend Masdar’s renewable energy portfolio in the UK and to build on our close partnership with Statoil.”
The project is the second offshore wind partnership between Masdar and Statoil after the 402MW Dudgeon wind farm, also due to come on-stream by the second half of 2017, and is being proposed as a cost efficient and low risk solutions for future large-scale floating wind farms.
Upon completion in Q4 2017, the project will provide renewable electricity for around 22,000 homes.