World's first floating wind farm emerges off coast of Scotland

Jul 25, 2017 12:49 IST

Construction began in July 2017 on the world’s first full-scale floating wind farm, around 15 miles off the coast of north-east Scotland.

The Peterhead wind farm, known as Hywind, is a trial which will bring power to 20000 homes.

The wind farm will be lased with revolutionary technology that will allow wind power to be harvested in waters too deep for the current conventional bottom-standing turbines.

The manufacturer of the world’s first full-scale floating wind farm is Statoil, which says that output from the turbines is expected to equal or surpass generation from current ones.

World's first floating wind farm emerges off coast of Scotland

Key highlights of the wind farm

The Hywind project is being run in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi firm Masdar. The £190m cost was subsidised by bill-payers under the UK government's Renewable Obligation Certificates.

The tower, including the blades, stretches to 175 meters.

Each tower of the wind farm weighs 11500 tonnes.

The box behind the blades, the nacelle, could hold two double-decker buses.

Each blade of the wind farm is 75 meters, which is almost the wing span of an Airbus.

The turbines can operate in water up to a kilometre deep.

The blades on the towers have been a particular focus for innovation.

The blades harness breakthrough software, which holds the tower upright by twisting the blades to dampen motions from wind, waves and currents.

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Criticisms

The bird charity RSPB Scotland opposed the project as it believes that too many offshore turbines in the area have already been approved.

It fears thousands of sea birds may be killed by the offshore wind farms. However, the charity admits that estimates are hugely uncertain because it is impossible to count bird corpses at sea.

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