Norwegian firm Statkraft said on Tuesday that a long-term purchase agreement for a floating offshore wind farm dubbed “the world’s largest” had started, a new milestone for the energy sector.
The Kincardine Offshore Wind Farm is a 50-megawatt six-turbine facility located in the waters off the coast of Aberdeen, Scotland. The installation of turbines for the project – which Statkraft has described as “the world’s largest floating wind farm” – was recently completed.
A power purchase agreement between Statkraft and the developer Kincardine Offshore Windfarm Ltd, signed in 2018 but now entering into force, will see the first buy “all the electricity production of the floating wind project with a guaranteed minimum price per MWh [megawatt hour] until 2029. “
According to Norwegian state-owned Statkraft, the KOWL project will send more than 200,000 megawatt hours to the grid each year. That, he said, would be enough to power more than 50,000 homes.
“This is the first floating project in which Statkraft has been involved and we expect more to follow,” said John Puddephatt, Statkraft’s director for long-term PPA origination, in a statement.
The technology, said Puddephatt, “could help countries around the world meet their renewable energy goals.”
Statkraft is one of many large companies involved in floating offshore wind projects. In 2017, another Norwegian energy company, Equinor, opened Hywind Scotland, a 30-megawatt facility it calls “the first large-scale floating offshore wind farm”.
Earlier this month, a joint venture focused on the development of a huge offshore wind farm floating in the waters off South Korea was officially formed.
Oil and gas major Shell has an 80% stake in the JV, which is called MunmuBaram, with the remaining 20% held by CoensHexicon.
In a statement at the time, Shell said the project was in “a feasibility assessment phase”. If built, the 1.4-gigawatt wind farm would be located between 65 and 80 kilometers off the coast of Ulsan, a coastal city and industrial center in southeastern South Korea.
In August, it was announced that RWE Renewables and Kansai Electric Power had signed an agreement that will see the two companies study the feasibility of a large-scale floating offshore wind project in the waters off the Japanese coast.
Floating offshore wind turbines are different from offshore wind turbines attached to the bottom which are rooted in the seabed. One of the advantages of floating turbines is that they can be installed in deeper water compared to stationary turbines.
RWE described the floating turbines as being “deployed above floating structures attached to the seabed with mooring lines and anchors”.