Charlie McCurdy’s fine image of the Faeroese products tanker Northern Ocean 8,594,’98 passing Greenock, on her way from the fuel terminal at Rothesay Dock, is a reminder of the UK’s need for energy and the increasingly tricky position there may be after Brexit, means the UK is out of the EU.
There are fuel and electricity sharing agreements with several EU countries which may have to be reviewed and new tariffs and duties may be invoked. It must also be remembered that the UK’s refi ning capacity has been reduced and its ownership changed radically in recent times.
So it was good to see a recent image of Maersk Connector 10,678,’16 specialist cable laying vessel sat on the mud of Morecambe Bay in NW England indicating work was afoot to connect yet more wind turbines to shore. And good news from Scotland that, Hywind, the world’s first offshore wind farm to use floating wind turbines, has started producing power for the Scottish energy grid in what could be the start of offshore wind’s push into deeper and more favourable waters for energy production.
Hywind Scotland was offi cially opened by the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, the project being operated by Statoil in partnership with Masdar. The 30MW pilot wind farm is in the North Sea about 25 kms off Peterhead in Aberdeenshire and will power approximately 20,000 households. The park, made up of five Siemens 6MW wind turbines, covers an area of about 4 square kms in water depth ranging from 95-120 ms in an area with an average wind speed of about 10 ms per second. The Hywind concept can work in water depths up to 800 meters, thus opening up areas so far unsuitable for offshore wind.
The lessons learned from Hywind Scotland will pave the way for new global market opportunities for floating offshore wind energy. Through the government’s support to develop the Hywind Scotland project, the UK and Scotland are now at the forefront of the development of this exciting new technology.