UK Sets Up New Floating Wind Funding Scheme

World’s First Floating Offshore Wind Farm Celebrates Five Years of Operation

Hywind Scotland, the first floating offshore wind farm in the world, has passed five years in operation since its commissioning in 2017.

The Hywind Scotland project (Source: Equinor)

According to Equinor, Hywind Scotland is the world’s best-performing offshore wind farm, achieving a capacity factor of 54 per cent over its five years of operations.

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“Importantly, Hywind Scotland has run to high safety standards, marking five years of no loss time injuries during its operation”, Equinor said.

With a capacity of 30 MW generated by five turbines, Hywind Scotland uses the Hywind floating spar-substructure concept.

Located off the coast of Peterhead, Scotland, the wind farm generates enough electricity to power the equivalent of 34,000 UK homes.

“Because of its location and the harsh weather conditions it encounters, Hywind Scotland has exposure to higher wind speeds than we typically see on a fixed-bottom wind farm, but also has to withstand large waves, while continuing to produce power with wave heights of 10 metres”, said William Munn, Plant Manager of Hywind Scotland at Equinor.

“Due to the environment, unique operations and maintenance methods have been required, such as a high-performance crew transfer vessel (CTV) that can continue operations in higher-than-standard transfer conditions.”

In addition to the operational improvements for floating offshore wind, Equinor has been advancing environmental initiatives at the Hywind Scotland project.

The Norwegian company is collaborating with the Scottish Government Directorate, Marine Scotland, to better understand how fishers can safely operate around and within floating offshore wind farms. 

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Equinor is also developing Hywind Tampen floating offshore wind farm, which delivered its first power earlier this fall.

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The project was initially scheduled to be completed by the end of 2022, but due to some deviations found in steel quality in four tower sections and supply chain bottlenecks, the completion of the wind farm has been postponed to 2023.

Once fully completed, it will become the world’s largest floating offshore wind farm with a capacity of 60 MW.

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