Offshore wind farms are getting more practical, partly because of a new technology that allows them to float. Scotland, or rather the ocean off Scotland’s coast, will soon become home to the world’s largest installation of the technology.
The Hywind Park will consist of five floating six-megawatt turbines, anchored in water over 330 feet deep, and situated 15-22 miles from land. The project, conceived in 2014 and recently given the go-ahead, has previously been called the “world’s first floating wind farm,” and now is apparently the largest.
The Hywind farm is the first deployment of a 2009 test project by Norwegian company Statoil, which makes oil rigs. The turbines bob around individually, each one a huge steel tube ballasted at one end, and topped with a turbine. This is in contrast to regular offshore turbines, which are mounted on concrete and steel foundations, making them much harder to build. Each tube is tethered with three steel cables.
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