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World's First Floating Wind Turbine Sets Sail Off Coast Of Scotland

By Brian Spaen

Asian communities are looking toward floating solar panels to increase renewable energy. With ongoing construction of offshore wind farms, it only seemed natural for the progression toward floating wind farms. Five of them are currently off the coast of Scotland and it will be able to power around 22,000 homes.

The Hywind project began as a prototype back in 2009. A single wind turbine was created by Statoil in Karmoy, Norway, on top of a floating spar buoy. Beginning in 2001, it spent eight years being a design, and eight years after that it has become the world’s first floating wind farm. The project has a capacity of 30 megawatts (six per turbine) and it will be 15 miles away from Peterhead in Scotland.

What is the benefit of having floating wind farms instead of the fixed offshore versions? It’s made to last in deeper waters far away from shore. They also can take advantage of the higher winds out in the ocean. It’s able to stay afloat because it weighs 46,000 metric tons (over 50,700 US tons) and it’s filled with over 8,000 liters of seawater, which equates to over 2,100 gallons.