Scotland will soon be home to the world’s largest offshore wind farm, authorities announced Monday.
Over the next two years, Norwegian gas company Statoil will build the Hywind pilot park 15 miles off of the coast of Peterhead. The five-turbine pilot development is expected to generate 135GWh of electricity annually — enough to power nearly 20,000 households.
A system of cables and anchors will moor each floating turbine to the seafloor, and a large cable will transport generated electricity back to the development’s onshore base station. Traditional offshore turbines are installed directly onto the sea floor.
“Hywind is a hugely exciting project – in terms of electricity generation and technology innovation – and it’s a real testament to our energy sector expertise and skilled workforce that Statoil chose Scotland for the world’s largest floating wind farm,” Deputy First Minister John Swinney said in a news release.
“The ability to leverage existing infrastructure and supply chain capabilities from the offshore oil and gas industry create the ideal conditions to position Scotland as a world leader in floating wind technology.”
Offshore construction is expected to begin in 2016; the development will be fully commissioned by 2017.
London Array is currently the world’s largest non-floating offshore wind farm. Located 12 miles off the shore of Kent, the farm’s 175 turbines produce 3,000GWh of electricity each year.