Developer Statoil given marine license for floating offshore wind farm off the coast of Peterhead, Scotland

The world’s largest floating wind farm planned for off the coast of Peterhead in Scotland has been given the green light by the Scottish government.

Oil and gas giant Statoil has been granted a marine license to build a pilot park of five floating 6MW turbines located approximately 25km off the coast of Peterhead, with a generating capacity of 135GWh a year – enough to power 20,000 homes.

Unlike conventional turbines, the floating turbines will be attached to the seabed by a three-point mooring spread and anchoring system.

The turbines will be connected by an inter-array of cables, with an export cable transporting electricity from the wind farm to shore at Peterhead.

Onshore construction works on the £45m development, called Hywind Scotland, have already begun, with offshore construction expected to start in April 2016.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

Statoil’s executive vice president for New Energy Solutions Irene Rummelhoff said: “Floating wind represents a new, significant and increasingly competitive renewable energy source.

“Statoil’s objective with developing this pilot park is to demonstrate a commercial, utility-scale floating wind solution, to further increase the global market potential.”

Welcoming the development after granting consent, Scotland’s deputy first minister John Swinney said: “Hywind is a hugely exciting project – in terms of electricity generation and technology innovation – and it’s a real testament to our energy sector expertise and skilled workforce that Statoil chose Scotland for the world’s largest floating wind farm.”

He added: “The ability to leverage existing infrastructure and supply chain capabilities from the offshore oil and gas industry create the ideal conditions to position Scotland as a world leader in floating wind technology.”

The news comes after rival wind farm developer Dong Energy committed to developing the overall world’s largest offshore wind farm in the Irish Sea last week.