Wind power is one of the most progressive and rapidly changing areas of renewable energy. As the industry continues to grow, larger and more diverse wind power systems are becoming more common. Some of the most exciting wind-related news comes from Europe, where the largest floating wind farm in the world was recently finished. The farm, which is located off the coast of Scotland, is a 50-megawatt (MW) farm near Aberdeen that can power up to 50,000 residential homes.
What is a Floating Wind Farm?
Floating wind farms are one of the newest developments in the wind industry, specifically in the category of offshore wind farms. They are located just about everywhere that offshore wind operations are feasible, including waters from the Caribbean to the Arctic in North America, along with Europe and other parts of the world. Floating wind farms are essentially wind turbines mounted to floating fixed foundations in the ocean. The offshore turbines are attached to a strong foundation using export cables and other materials. To prevent the turbines from falling over, the foundations to which they are attached weigh hundreds to thousands of tons. They are an increasingly popular option for wind power. Collectively, offshore floating wind systems added more than 6 gigawatts (GW) of wind capacity in 2019. Floating farms have a few differences and advantages when compared to conventional offshore farms. One includes the fact that they can be installed in deeper waters, sitting farther offshore, where they may have less of an impact on wildlife and boats.
About the Kincardine Offshore Wind Farm
Although some of the world’s largest floating wind operations have historically been in Scotland, the Kincardine Offshore Wind Farm (KOWL) is the largest floating wind farm to date. This wind project includes six large turbines that generate a total of 50 MW, which equals about 200,000 megawatt-hours of energy production per year. The wind system will power thousands of homes and businesses. Although it is located off the coast of Aberdeen, Scotland, the wind project is managed by a Norwegian company called Statkraft. Statkraft has joined into an ownership arrangement via a power purchase agreement with the project’s developer. Through the power purchase agreement, which began in 2018, Statkraft has agreed to buy all the electricity generated through the system until 2029. The KOWL system is the first floating offshore wind project that Statkraft is involved with, but the company plans to add more floating farms to its portfolio. Prior to KOWL launching, the largest offshore wind system was Hywind Scotland, which totals 30 MW in capacity.
Floating Offshore Wind Farms Gain Traction
Like other types of wind systems, floating wind farms are increasing in popularity. Offshore wind has emerged as a popular choice for wind energy within the past few years, and it looks to be an increasingly popular option for wind power production in the future. In addition to the two large floating farms in Scotland, floating offshore wind systems are also appearing in South Korea. One of the largest projects currently under construction in South Korea is a 1.4 GW farm that is located off the coast of Ulsan, which is one of South Korea’s largest cities and industrial centers.
Kurz Wind is always excited to share with you the latest news and progress in the field of wind energy. If you have questions about wind power production and capabilities, don’t hesitate to ask. The knowledgeable staff at Kurz will gladly answer your questions and let you know more about how wind energy can help offset your bills and supply your electricity needs.
Categorised in: Latest Wind Power Industry News - Kurz Wind Division
This post was written by Matt Passannante