Five 6-MW Siemens Gamesa turbines have been installed on their foundations and are ready to set sail for the 30-MW Hywind Scotland project, the world's biggest floating wind farm, the Spain-based manufacturer said today.
The turbines have been installed on floating foundations in Stord on the west coast of Norway and will be towed to Scottish waters. The floating wind farm, a project of Norwegian energy group Statoil (STO:STLO), will be situated off the coast of Peterhead in Aberdeenshire and is planned to be commissioned in the final quarter of 2017. It will be deployed at water depths between 90 metres (295 ft) and 120 metres, making use of floating foundations that are ballast-stabilised and anchored to the seabed with mooring lines. The concept was tested in 2009, when Statoil and Siemens Wind Power installed a 2.3-MW turbine at the Hywind Demo project.
Michael Hannibal, offshore head at Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, said that floating wind is initially a niche market that could, however, over time become a large market. "It is a niche in which we would like to build a strong position for this reason," Hannibal added. According to him, there are not expected to be significant challenges in creating a working concept for floating foundations, but concepts should be more cost competitive with bottom-fixed foundations to evolve into a bigger market.
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