The world’s first floating wind farm just powered up 15 miles off the coast of Scotland.
The wind farm is capable of pumping 30 megawatts of clean electricity into the grid. According to engadget.com, the turbines of Hywind Scotland stand 253 meters tall in total (around 830 feet), with 78 meters (256 feet) of that bobbing beneath the surface, tethered to the seabed by chains weighing 1,200 tonnes.
According to bloomberg.com, some of the energy generated by the turbines in the sea will be stored in batteries. Statoil has installed one of its Batwind lithium devices, which can store 1 megawatt-hour of power. This will help steady the flow of power generated by the wind farm.
The cost of conventional offshore wind farms has been plummeting in recent years. The U.K.’s latest renewable energy auction saw prices drop to 57.50 pounds per megawatt-hour, less than a third the cost of new nuclear in the U.K. Rummelhoff expects floating offshore wind to follow a similar trajectory.
Scotland and the UK are home to various renewable energy initiatives. In September, the world’s most sustainable paint plant opened in the UK is being billed as the most advanced of its kind. Paint and coating company AkzoNobel is behind construction of the plant, which will supply paint for Dulux, a popular decorative paint brand in the UK. The Ashington plant uses a variety of renewable energy sources, including photovoltaic cells and a biomass boiler, alongside a highly automated manufacturing process which saves water, waste and energy. The company estimates that the carbon footprint per liter of paint produced at the site will be reduced by 50% compared with the production facilities at the plants it is replacing.
And Scotland has been earmarked for the world’s first commercial kite-driven power plants.