First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has officially opened the world’s first floating wind farm
SCOTTISH ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS have welcomed the world’s first floating farm, which was opened today by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and will produce enough power for approximately 20,000 homes.
The result of over 15 years of work by Norwegian energy firm Statoil, the wind farm is located 15 miles from Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, comprises of five enormous turbines and stretches 175m from the sea surface to its uppermost point.
“This pilot project underlines the potential of Scotland’s huge offshore wind resource.” First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
Sturgeon said of the new wind farm: “This pilot project underlines the potential of Scotland’s huge offshore wind resource and positions Scotland at the forefront of the global race to develop the next generation of offshore wind technologies.
“In addition to the green benefits of renewable energy, it also has a very significant contribution to make to our economy.
“I’m pleased Scottish suppliers have contributed to the Hywind project from the development through to the production phase and are still involved to investigate long-term potential for floating wind.”
Claire Mack, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, said: “Hywind’s presence in Scottish waters is a reminder that, as the windiest country in Europe, and with some of the deepest waters and most promising offshore wind sites, Scotland is perfectly placed to capitalise on floating turbine technology.”
“By demonstrating the commercial viability of floating wind, Scotland can help to develop the industry in new frontiers and deeper waters.” WWF Scotland acting Head of Policy Gina Hanrahan
Commenting on the new wind farm, acting Head of Policy at WWF Scotland Gina Hanrahan said: “With around a quarter of Europe’s offshore wind resource in Scotland, it’s great to see the world’s first floating windfarm inaugurated off our coast.
“Offshore wind is already an industrial success story across the UK, cutting emissions, creating jobs and dramatically driving down costs.
“By demonstrating the commercial viability of floating wind, Scotland can help to develop the industry in new frontiers and deeper waters.
“With this kind of innovation and investment, and continued political support, Scotland will continue to power towards our target of securing half of all our energy needs form renewable sources by 2030.”
“Further support from both Holyrood and Westminster will be key in creating and driving forward the next generation of clean marine energy.” Friends of the Earth Scotland Director Dr Richard Dixon
Friends of the Earth Scotland Director Dr Richard Dixon also welcomed the new wind farm, saying: “The wind farm opening off Peterhead is a sign of the great progress that Scotland has made in embracing the renewable energy revolution.
“Together with partners from around the globe we will make history with the world’s first ever floating wind farm. We can be rightly proud of the role that Scottish effort and ingenuity has played in bringing this ground-breaking project to fruition.
“Recent events including a series of hurricanes and wildfires in California have once again brought the urgency of tackling climate change to the fore. That’s why the success of innovative energy projects like Hywind are so vital in putting us on a path to a fossil-free Scotland.
“This technology will enable wind farms to be built in previously inaccessible areas.
“Both fixed and floating offshore wind farms are a key part of Scotland and the world’s energy future. Developing our huge offshore wind potential on a large scale is crucial for meeting Scotland’s ambitious climate and energy targets and delivering a fossil-free Scotland.”
“The Scottish Government must plan for this inevitable transition away from fossil fuels.” Friends of the Earth Scotland Director Dr Richard Dixon
However, Dr Dixon warned that further planning and action was necessary if any transition from fossil fuels is to be achieved.
“Further support from both Holyrood and Westminster will be key in creating and driving forward the next generation of clean marine energy,” Dixon added. “The economic opportunities from becoming a world leader in renewable technologies are immense and Scotland’s natural advantages in this area must be capitalised upon.
“It is symbolic that clean energy history is being made in the North East, an area that has been suffering so much from the chaotic decline in the oil industry in recent years. The Scottish Government must plan for this inevitable transition away from fossil fuels by supporting workers currently in oil and gas sectors to transfer their skills and experience to a clean energy economy.”
On 2 October this year, Scottish wind turbines generated enough power to meet all of Scotland’s electricity needs for that day thanks to strong winds. WWF Scotland confirmed this was a record for 2017, and that the day’s wind generated sufficient electricity to power 7.116 m homes, or almost three times the number of Scottish households (294 per cent).
The preceding month of this year also saw sufficient wind generated power output to potentially supply all of Scotland homes on 18 out of 30 days in September.
Picture courtesy of the First Minister of Scotland
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