Guest essay by Eric Worrall
A Scottish wind farm composed of novel design floating offshore wind turbines has officially started generating power. Proponents claim the floating megastructures are cheaper than traditional turbines, and will open offshore sites too deep for traditional fixed pylon designs.
The Hywind project: the world’s first floating wind farm
By SOPHIE CHAPMAN . Oct 19, 2017, 6:43AM
The world’s first floating wind farm opened on 18 October by Nicola Sturgeon, off the east coast of Scotland.
The 6MW turbines rise 175m above sea level, making them taller than London’s Big Ben and Oslo’s Plaza, and extend 78m below the surface of the water, tied to the sea bed by cables.
The anchors used to stabilise the turbines stand at 16m and weigh 111 tonnes.
The concept of a floating turbine was conceived in 2001, a single prototype being made in 2009, and funding for the project was provided in 2015.
The benefits of a floating offshore wind farm are the lower costs of production than onshore farms, as well as floating turbines being able to reach areas in the sea with a depth of 800m, which so far has been unattainable for wind projects.
Lets hope those anchors are secure. One hundred and eleven tons of free floating wind turbine could create a terrifying navigation hazard.