An offshore wind farm made up of eight wind turbines and costing £250 million has been given the go ahead by the Scottish government, with the floating development expected to create around 110 jobs when it’s erected nine miles south-east of Aberdeen.
According to The Scotsman, the Kincardine Offshore Windfarm project will see enough energy harnessed to provide power for nearly 56,000 homes, while preventing more than 94,500 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.
Carlos Barat, Project Director, described the development as significant not just for Kincardine, but for Scotland’s offshore renewables sector, as well as that in the wider UK and the rest of Europe. He expects that the project will see even more opportunities for other floating developments open up, with turbines now able to be installed in deeper water and further away from the shore.
There are some advantages to using floating turbines, the main one being that they can be positioned in waters up to 150m deep, so they can benefit from steadier and higher wind speeds that are present further offshore. It’s also possible that the installation of these turbines offshore is actually both cheaper and easier to achieve than fixed devices, which require heavy-lift vessels to install them on the seabed. In-comparison, floating turbines can be assembled at the port and then towed to their location.
Paul Wheelhouse, Holyrood Business, Innovation and Energy Minister, was quoted by the news source as saying: “[This] will also cement our place as one of the world’s leading nations in the innovation and deployment of floating offshore wind. If the technology can be demonstrated at scale, it has huge potential to help Scotland meet its energy needs and to develop a supply chain that can service opportunities elsewhere in Europe and in markets such as south-east Asia and North America.”
This comes after Mr Wheelhouse approved plans for a ten turbine extension to the Millennium Wind Farm, which can be found in the Scottish Highlands. The move will see enough renewable energy generated to power an impressive 20,000 homes in the region, with a generating capacity of 35MW.
In addition, there’s also the Kype Muir Wind Farm – operated by Banks Renewables – which has also been given the green light to increase the number of turbines it can run. Thus far, an extra 15 turbines have been approved for the South Lanarkshire site and once complete, the move will see the wind farm generating 139MW of electricity – enough to power a maximum of 80,000 homes.
Investment from DONG Energy has also meant that CS Wind is now able to build a new offshore tower manufacturing site in Scotland, the first facility in the whole of the UK that will be able to manufacture towers for turbines.
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