World's first floating offshore wind farm opens off Scotland

The project has been developed by Norwegian state energy company Statoil

"Scotland has developed an worldwide reputation for modern, renewable energy technologies and Hywind Scotland - the world's first floating wind farm - is testament to that", Sturgeon said ahead of the official opening.

Norwegian energy firm Statoil has been working on developing the project, known as Hywind, for more than 15 years.

Five massive wind turbines floating in the sea near Scotland have started sending energy to the grid.

Hywind Scotland floating offshore wind farm was first approved by the Scottish Government back in November of 2015, at which point Statoil was the project developer.

The 30MW Hywind wind farm, operated by Statoil in partnership with Masdar, was officially opened by the First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon this morning.

Aberdeenshire is no stranger to public opposition to offshore wind farm projects, with US President Donald Trump trying unsuccessfully to get British courts to block construction of turbines visible from his golf course.

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Statoil said the turbines could be sited in areas with a water depth of 800m, which have so far been out of bounds for offshore wind.

"The company has spent a lot of time and money developing this project so we are hugely excited for them but also for Scotland as this could make a significant contribution to our energy mix in the future". "Statoil looks forward to exploring the next steps for floating offshore wind". Experts arealso optimistic that floating turbines could curb costs for the industry, by minimising the need for large foundations and complex installation projects. Onshore in Peterhead, Statoil is meanwhile progressing a pilot battery storage facility, called Batwind, that will be wired into the project infrastructure in 2018.

"Floating offshore wind is now a viable technology and ready to be rolled out on an industrial scale", he underlined to Recharge.

"Hywind's presence in Scottish waters is a reminder that, as the windiest country in Europe, and with some of the deepest waters and most promising offshore wind sites, Scotland is perfectly placed to capitalise on floating turbine technology", said Claire Mack, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables.

"Our unique offshore supply chain and the skillset it supports put us at the forefront of the deployment of these innovative machines", she stated. "Innovation is key to the government's Industrial Strategy, and this is a great example of how offshore wind continues to push the parameters, creating thousands of jobs and delivering billions investment to the United Kingdom".

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