United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Study launched to assess economic benefits of floating projects

UK: Crown Estate Scotland will oversee a study by ORE Catapult into the potential economic benefits of floating wind projects in the UK.

The world's first commercial floating wind farm, the 30MW Hywind started delivering power to the grid in October (pic credit: Øyvind Gravås / Woldcam - Statoil ASA)
The world's first commercial floating wind farm, the 30MW Hywind started delivering power to the grid in October (pic credit: Øyvind Gravås / Woldcam - Statoil ASA)

Researchers from innovation centre ORE Catapult will assess the effect of floating wind has on jobs, the UK supply chain and exports, before publishing their findings in summer 2018.

The study will outline different scenarios based on different scales of development and potential UK content, the potential impact of government policy and the different economic outcomes of each scenario.

ORE Catapult’s head of insights Gavin Smart is leading the study. "Innovations in turbine foundations and the development of floating wind technologies are key to opening up enormous new wind resources in expanses of water too deep for conventional, bottom-fixed farms," he said.

"This, in turn, creates huge economic opportunities for UK companies to capitalise on this emerging market, both here in the UK and through the export of skills and technologies globally," Smart added.

Floating wind’s ability to open up high-wind resources in deeper waters previously inaccessible for fixed foundation turbines is of particular relevance in Scotland because the country’s waters are deeper closer to shore, Crown Estate Scotland explained.

The world’s first commercial floating wind farm, Statoil and Masdar’s five-turbine 30MW Hywind project, is situated off Scotland’s northeast coast, and started delivering power to the grid in October.

Seabed landlord Crown Estate Scotland has given seabed rights and Marine Scotland has given planning rights to two other floating projects: Cobra Concesiones’ eight-turbine 48MW Kincardine and Hexicon’s two-turbine 10MW Dounreay Tri.

Sian Wilson, senior development manager at Crown Estate Scotland said: "We want to find out the scale of the economic benefits — jobs, supply chain and exports — from growing the UK floating wind industry. The results of this study will help UK government and others take policy decisions on how to support development.

"As the low carbon economy grows and the world needs more clean, green energy, there is potentially a great opportunity for Scotland and the wider UK in ensuring we make the most of our competitive advantage."

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