The Scottish Government has granted a marine licence to Statoil for the construction of Hywind Scotland project, the world's largest floating offshore wind development.

The pilot park will comprise five floating 6MW turbines installed approximately 25km off the coast of Peterhead, with a generating capacity of 135GWh of electricity each year.

It is expected that the Hywind Scotland development could power up to 19,900 houses.

How will it work?

Hywind turbines will be attached to the seabed by a three-point mooring spread and anchoring system and connected by an inter-array of cables, with an export cable transporting electricity from the pilot park to shore at Peterhead.

Statoil's executive vice president for New Energy Solutions Irene Rummelhoff said: "Floating wind represents a new, significant and increasingly competitive renewable energy source.

"Statoil's objective with developing this pilot park is to demonstrate a commercial, utility-scale floating wind solution, to further increase the global market potential."

Momentum building

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: "The momentum is building around the potential for floating offshore wind technology to unlock deeper water sites.

"The ability to leverage existing infrastructure and supply chain capabilities from the offshore oil and gas industry create the ideal conditions to position Scotland as a world leader in floating wind technology."

Our position

The RYA is taking a keen interest in this and other floating offshore wind developments, particularly as operational safety zones are being requested by developers and in the case of Hywind, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has not supported the developer's application for them. 

We will continue to work with the maritime community in an effort to limit the impact of offshore wind and tidal developments on the navigational rights and safety of recreational boating.

Image: Scottish Government/Statoil