Floating wind farm off Peterhead coast enjoys another record year

A wind farm off the coast of Peterhead has recorded the UK's best results for capturing potential output offshore for a third year in a row.

Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 7:00 am
Hywind Scotland’s floating offshore wind farm off the coast of Peterhead reached the highest average capacity factor for any wind farm in the UK.

The Hywind Scotland development – the world’s first floating wind farm about 15 miles off Peterhead – has reached an average of 57.1 per cent of its potential output over the past year.

During its first two years of operation, the wind farm achieved an average capacity factor – the ratio of actual energy output over a given period of time, to the maximum possible output – of 54 per cent. This year’s record figure compares to the UK’s average capacity factor of about 40 per cent.

Sebastian Bringsværd, head of floating wind development at Norwegian firm Equinor, which runs the project, said: “It’s great to see the results Hywind Scotland and the floating technology keeps delivering. The potential for floating offshore wind is huge."

He said with access to deeper waters and therefore higher and more consistent wind speeds, floating offshore was not only an efficient way to generate electricity from wind, but it also provides jobs. In the UK, he said, we could be talking at least 17,000 jobs.

Mr Bringsværd added:"We believe Scotland has the potential to build a globally competitive offshore wind industry, including a real chance to enhance the development of floating offshore wind.”

Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid said the latest figures showed exactly how investment in new technologies was vital to improving the efficiency of renewable energy sources.

“Hywind is the world’s first floating offshore wind farm and for three years in a row, has provided the best performance of any wind farm in the UK,” said Mr Duguid. "This shows the value of these newer style of wind farms in helping to meet our decarbonisation and net-zero targets.

“It also shows the value of ports such as Peterhead, Fraserburgh and Macduff, which have all been involved in the deployment of a range of new windfarms around the North East Coast.”

The five giant wind turbines that make up the Hywind Scotland reach 175m (574ft) from sea surface to blade tip.

The wind farm started generating electricity in 2017.