World’s first floating wind farm opens in Scotland

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The world’s first floating wind farm just opened 15 miles (25km) off the coast of Scotland. It consists of five turbines, each over 830 feet (253m) tall. Nearly 256 feet (80m) of each turbine is submerged and tethered to the ocean floor with suction anchors. The farm will reportedly produce power for 20,000 homes.

The project, known as Hywind, was headed by the Norwegian energy firm Statoil and has been in the works for 15 years. The ceremony was attended by Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, who said that the wind farm is a testament to the country’s international reputation as a leader in renewable energy.

“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 capitalize on floating turbine technology,” added Claire Mack, chief executive of Scottish Renewables.

Conventional offshore wind sites are typically anchored to the seabed at maximum depths of around 164 feet (50m). Statoil believes that the majority of high-potential offshore wind sites are in locations with waters more than 197 feet (60m) deep. The Hywind turbines are operating in waters up to 423 feet (129m) deep.

And Statoil thinks they’ll be able to get them in waters 800 feet (244m) deep.

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