Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, has acquired a stake in Hywind Scotland, a 30-megawatt (MW) floating offshore pilot wind farm in the North Sea, it was announced on Tuesday.
Through the transaction, Statoil and Masdar have agreed to share the development risk and Masdar will cover 25 percent of previous and future costs.
Due to start commercial operation in late 2017, Hywind Scotland is the world’s first floating offshore wind farm.
“I am greatly encouraged by this substantial international investment in Hywind Scotland and look forward to the further development of this world-leading 30 MW project, which will be situated 15 miles from Scotland’s North East coast,” said Keith Brown, Cabinet Secretary for the Economy and Fair Work, Scottish Parliament.
The pilot project aims to take advantage of Scotland’s huge offshore wind resource by operating in waters exceeding 100m depth, demonstrating cost efficient and low risk solutions for commercial scale parks.
Brown added: “Major investments, such as this one made by Masdar, highlight the importance of continued investment in offshore wind, are a sign of increasing confidence within the sector, and position Scotland at the forefront of the global race to develop the next generation of offshore wind technologies.”
Located off the coast of Peterhead in Abderdeenshire, Hywind Scotland consists of five 6MW floating wind turbines anchored to the seabed. The farm covers an area of around four-square kilometres, with the average wind speed in this area of the North Sea is around 10 metres per second.
The ongoing construction of monopiles will be followed by assembly at Stord in Norway next summer, before they are shipped to Scotland.
“Masdar is excited to join the team developing the world’s first floating wind farm, and to build on our partnership with Statoil,” said CEO at Masdar, Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi.
“Hywind Scotland represents the next stage in the evolution of the offshore wind industry, combining the project management experience and technical expertise of one of the world’s largest offshore energy players – and our own capabilities in renewable energy development acquired over the last decade in the UK and international markets,” Al Ramahi added.
“We see tremendous potential in the commercial application of floating offshore wind technologies.”
Hywind Scotland is the second offshore wind partnership between Masdar and Statoil after the Dudgeon wind farm, a 402MW project also due to come on-stream by the second half of 2017.
Dudgeon, Hywind Scotland and the 630MW London Array – currently the world’s largest offshore wind farm in operation – will bring Masdar’s gross renewable energy generating capacity in the United Kingdom to 1.06 gigawatts (GW), enough power to supply 6,600 homes and displace 63,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.