Scotland’s world first floating wind farm has performed strongly despite being buffetted by a hurricane and huge sea swells.
Statoil and partner Masdar said the Hywind farm off Peterhead achieved an average of 65% of production capacity in the three months to the end of January, its first full operational quarter.
The figure was ahead of expectation for the 30MW array, and above the average load factor achieved in similar conditions by traditional seabed anchored turbines.
Hywind Scotland was powered up last year and is being viewed as a proving ground for floating turbine technologies in deep water.
Statoil said the array – which is producing enough power for 20,000 UK households – was performing well and had withstood 100 mile per hour winds during Storm Caroline in December and waves in excess of 8.2 metres.
Beate Myking, Statoil’s senior vice president of offshore wind operations, said the real-world performance of Hywind was encouraging.
She said: “Hywind Scotland’s high availability has ensured that the volume of electricity generated is substantially higher than expected.
“In addition, it has delivered without any HSE incidents.”
Irene Rummelhoff, executive vice president for new energy solutions, said Hywind showed great potential and Statoil was now actively seeking further opportunities to deploy the technology in global markets.