In 2016, the world’s first floating wind farm was completed off the coast of Scotland, providing renewable energy to thousands of homes around the United Kingdom. Now, its manufacturer says that the turbines have produced their first kilowatt-hours of energy, and they will be connected to the grid soon.
Over the weekend, a facility dubbed the largest floating wind farm in the world generated its first power, and additional turbines are expected to start operating before the year is through.
The first wind turbine at Hywind Tampen began producing electricity on Sunday afternoon, according to a statement released on Monday by the Norwegian energy company Equinor, which is more renowned for its work in the oil and gas sector.
Hywind Tampen will be utilised to assist power operations at oil and gas sites in the North Sea, despite the fact that wind is a renewable energy source. The Gullfaks oil and gas field received Hywind Tampen’s first electricity, according to Equinor.
Geir Tungesvik, executive vice president for projects, drilling, and procurement at Equinor, said: “I am happy that we have now begun production at Hywind Tampen, Norway’s first and the world’s biggest floating wind farm.
This is a special project since it is the first wind farm to ever power oil and gas production facilities.
Between 260 and 300 metres deep, Hywind Tampen is situated around 140 kilometres (86.9 miles) off the coast of Norway.
The wind farm’s first seven turbines are expected to start operating in 2022, followed by the installation of the final four in 2023. According to Equinor, the system’s ultimate capacity will be 88 megawatts.
The other businesses engaged in the project, in addition to Equinor, are Vr Energi, INPEX Idemitsu, Petoro, Wintershall Dea, and OMV.
According to Equinor, Hywind Tampen is anticipated to supply around 35% of the power needed by the Gullfaks and Snorre fields. The business continued, “This will reduce CO2 emissions from the fields by around 200,000 tonnes each year.”
However, there may be some opposition to using a floating wind farm to support the production of fossil fuels.
The United Nations states that since the 19th century, “human activities have been the dominant cause of climate change, mostly owing to burning fossil fuels including coal, oil, and gas.” Fossil fuels have a significant negative impact on the environment.
The U.N. Secretary General gave delegates of the COP27 climate change meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, a dire warning last week.
Antonio Guterres stated, “We are losing the battle for our very existence.” “Global temperatures are rising, greenhouse gas emissions are increasing, and our world is rapidly nearing tipping points where climate calamity will become permanent.”
The industry is rapidly growing.
According to Equinor, the turbines at Hywind Tampen were mounted on a concrete structure that was floating and had a joint mooring system. Compared to fixed-bottom turbines, floating turbines have the benefit of being able to be deployed in deeper seas.
The five-turbine, 30 MW Hywind Scotland complex, which Equinor refers to as the world’s first floating wind farm, officially began operations in 2017.
Since then, a number of significant businesses have entered the market.
RWE Renewables and Kansai Electric Power signed a contract in August 2021 to examine the viability of a “large-scale floating offshore wind project” in the oceans off the coast of Japan.
That same year, in September, the Norwegian firm Statkraft signed a long-term purchase deal for a 50 MW floating wind farm off the coast of Aberdeen, Scotland, which it also referred to as the “world’s largest.”
Then, in December 2021, proposals for three major offshore wind facilities in Australia were revealed, two of which aim to use floating wind technology.
The White House stated earlier this year that it aimed to reach 15 gigawatts of floating offshore wind power by 2035.
At the time, the U.S. Department of the Interior also released a statement that read, “The Biden-Harris Administration is initiating coordinated steps to build new floating offshore wind platforms, a developing clean energy technology that will help the United States lead on offshore wind.”
A “Floating Offshore Wind Shot” intends to cut the cost of floating technology by over 70% by the year 2035 in addition to the 15 GW target.
The statement continued, “Bringing floating offshore wind technology to scale will open new opportunities for offshore wind power off the coasts of California and Oregon, in the Gulf of Maine, and beyond.”