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article imageRenewable energy leaps forward with floating wind farm

By Tim Sandle     Jul 23, 2017 in Environment
Aberdeen - New technology will enable the world's first floating wind farm to be constructed and the platform has emerged, for its first public viewing, off the coast of Scotland. The technology promises lower costs energy for businesses and consumers.
The first full-scale floating wind farm has entered production and the initial design has appeared in the North Sea, close to the north-east coast of Scotland. The platform will use new technology, based on five massive turbines, to harvest wind power in waters ordinarily too deep for conventional bottom-standing turbines (standard turbines can only be used down to a depth of 40 meters).
The technology comes from the Peterhead wind farm project and the floating platform is called Hywind. The aim is to provide power to 20,000 homes and businesses in Scotland. The turbines are expected to be superior to conventional ones located closer to shore. The cost of the project, The Guardian reports, is £200,00 ($250,000).
The platform is manufactured by Statoil and it will use digital technology to allow for adjustments to be made to the operation of the turbines, from a base on land. Leif Delp, project director for Hywind told the BBC: "This is a tech development project to ensure it's working in open sea conditions. It's a game-changer for floating wind power and we are sure it will help bring costs down."
While the Scottish project is a prototype, Statoil hopes the success will enable it to produce similar platforms for the lucrative Japanese and U.S. markets (especially the West coast of the U.S., where waters are particularly deep). Statoil ASA is a Norwegian multinational oil and gas company headquartered in Stavanger, Norway. The move into wind power signals the further diversification of the oil and gas sector, away from fossil fuels and towards what were once called 'alternative' forms of energy. Statoil’s offshore wind projects currently provide renewable energy to some 650,00 homes in the U.K.
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