Norwegian oil giant Statoil to start work on world's largest floating wind farm

Work on the world's largest floating wind farm is set to begin off the Aberdeenshire coast, after the Crown Estate granted a lease to the Norwegian multinational oil and gas company Statoil.

The wind farm is set to come on stream the by the end of next year.

The Hywind project would deploy 6 MW turbines in deeper water than any previous offshore wind turbines around the UK coast. They would be located at a site called Buchan Deep, with the closest turbine to the shore being less than 16 miles from Peterhead.

The technology had been tested by Statoil in a demonstration project off the coast of Norway.

Instead of fixed foundations or the seabed to support the wind turbines, the Hywind project would use a floating steel tube filled with ballast, fastened to the seabed.

The project received planning consent from Marine Scotland last October and Statoil took the final investment decision to proceed with the project.

Preliminary on-shore and near-shore work is set to start on the erection of the turbines in 2017, with first power being generated towards the end of the year.

Leif Delp, project director for the Hywind Scotland project said, ''We are very pleased to develop this project in Scotland, in a region with a huge wind resource and an experienced supply chain from oil and gas. Through  the hard work of industry and supportive government policies, the UK and Scotland is taking a position at the forefront of developing offshore wind as a competitive new energy source,'' reported.

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

"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. We are proud to develop this unique project in Scotland, in a region that has optimal wind conditions, a strong supply chain within oil and gas and supportive public policies."