Abu Dhabi firm takes 25% of Scots wind farm

Irene Rummelhoff

Norwegian multinational Statoil said it agreed to divest 25% of its assets in Hywind Scotland pilot park, the world’s first floating wind farm, to Abu Dhabi renewable energy company Masdar.

The wind farm offshore Peterhead in Aberdeenshire will power 20,000 households when in production from late 2017.

Hywind Scotland consists of five 6MW floating wind turbines anchored to the seabed.

“The Hywind Scotland pilot park has the potential to open attractive new markets for renewable energy production worldwide,” said Irene Rummelhoff, Statoil’s executive vice president for New Energy Solutions.

“With Masdar on board as a strong strategic partner we are teaming up with a company with high ambitions within renewable energy.

“We believe Masdar can be a strong partner also in future Hywind projects and we hope that our collaboration will result in future value creation opportunities for both parties.”

Statoil and Masdar have agreed to share the development risk and Masdar will cover 25% of previous and future costs.

Following the divestment, Statoil will hold a 75% share in Hywind Scotland.

The pilot park will cover around four square kilometres 25 km offshore Peterhead at water depths of 95-120 metres.

The average wind speed in this area of the North Sea is around 10 metres per second.

“Masdar is excited to join the team developing the world’s first floating wind farm, and to build on our partnership with Statoil,” said Masdar CEO Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi.

“Hywind Scotland represents the next stage in the evolution of the offshore wind industry, combining the project management experience and technical expertise of one of the world’s largest offshore energy players — and our own capabilities in renewable energy development acquired over the last decade in the UK and international markets.”

Keith Brown, the Scottish Government’s cabinet secretary for the economy, said: “Having met with representatives of Masdar at the ADIPEC conference late last year, I am greatly encouraged by this substantial international investment in Hywind Scotland and look forward to the further development of this world-leading 30 MW project, which will be situated 15 miles from Scotland’s North East coast.

“When complete, Hywind Scotland will be the first floating wind farm in the UK and its novel technology offers vast, global potential.

“This pilot project aims to take advantage of Scotland’s huge offshore wind resource by operating in waters exceeding 100m depth, demonstrating cost efficient and low risk solutions for commercial scale parks.

“Major investments, such as this one made by Masdar, highlight the importance of continued investment in offshore wind, are a sign of increasing confidence within the sector, and position Scotland at the forefront of the global race to develop the next generation of offshore wind technologies.”