Floating Platforms May Facilitate Affordable Offshore Wind

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In Scotland, the development of offshore wind as been slowing down due to the high cost of installing wind turbines into the sea floor. However, the concept of floating wind turbines may resolve this issue, as it was discovered that North Sea offshore oil and gas platforms are much cheaper to float than install in the sea floor.

In Scotland, the Buchan Deep is to be installed, and it will hopefully be significantly cheaper than traditional, fixed offshore wind farms, as it will be a floating wind farm.

According to The Guardian, the 30 MW wind farm will be installed by Statoil. The wind industry has set a goal of 30% cost reduction. If this trial is successful, it will likely be a big step towards that goal for the wind industry.

Michael Fallon, the Minister Of Energy And Climate Change, said: “This innovative project will lead to the construction of the first floating offshore wind farms in the UK. This underlines the UK’s attractiveness as the number one destination for offshore wind development.”

“Investing in new technologies will be crucial to unlocking offshore wind potential over the long term while we focus on the current development pipeline,” said Huub den Rooijen, head of offshore wind at the Crown Estate, which approved this project.

The three main reasons for pursuing offshore wind are: Offshore wind farms are mostly out of sight (this matters only to those who don’t appreciate their appearance); Wind speeds are higher and more consistent offshore; and it is a way to generate wind power on a large scale without occupying land.