Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, has acquired a stake in Hywind Scotland, a 30-megawatt (MW) floating offshore pilot wind farm in the North Sea. Through the transaction, Norwegian company Statoil and Masdar have agreed to share the development risk and Masdar will cover 25% of previous and future costs, it was announced in a press release.
Due to start commercial operation in late 2017, Hywind Scotland is the world’s first floating offshore wind farm. The objective of the Hywind pilot farm is to demonstrate cost-efficient and low risk solutions to future commercial-scale floating wind farms.
“Having met with representatives of Masdar at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC) 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,” said Keith Brown, Cabinet Secretary for the Economy and Fair Work, Scottish parliament.
Located off the coast of Peterhead in Abderdeenshire, Hywind Scotland consists of five 6MW floating wind turbines anchored to the seabed. The farm covers an area of around four-square kilometres, with the average wind speed in this area of the North Sea around 10 m per second.
Offshore wind industry
The ongoing construction will be followed by assembly at Stord in Norway next summer, before they are shipped to Scotland.
“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 Mohammed 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,” Al Ramahi added. “We see tremendous potential in the commercial application of floating offshore wind technologies.”
The partnership also consists of a collaboration agreement which will enable the two companies to work together on clean energy technologies across several markets in the near future.
Hywind Scotland is the second offshore wind partnership between Masdar and Statoil after the Dudgeon wind farm, a 402MW project due to come on stream by the second half of 2017.
Dudgeon, Hywind Scotland and the 630MW London Array – currently the world’s largest offshore wind farm in operation – will bring Masdar’s gross renewable energy generating capacity in the UK to 1.06 gigawatts (GW), enough power to supply 6,600 homes and reduce 63,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year.
Masdar City’s Eco-Villa
Meanwhile, Masdar City’s Eco-Villa, a pilot project incorporating water and energy-saving technologies, has been completed, and a UAE national family will soon live in the sustainable dwelling prototype, it was announced in Abu Dhabi.
The prototype spanning 405 sq m is the first such dwelling to get a 4 Pearl rating as per Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council’s Estidama Pearl Building Rating System. Eco-Villa will use around 72% less energy and 35% less water than a typical villa of similar size and will bring down carbon dioxide emissions by an estimated 63 tonnes annually.
The cost of construction is equal to that of a conventional home of the same size. However, its energy and water efficiency will substantially reduce running costs. The four-bedroom property is expected to consume just 97 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per square metre.
Fully equipped with 87 rooftop solar panels, the prototype is capable of supplying as much as 40,000 kWh of electricity to the national grid. A suite of passive energy and water-saving design features further reduce its impact on the environment.
Once the family moves in, Masdar’s sustainability team will monitor the villa’s energy, water and waste management performances. The data collected will enable the design of Eco-Villa to be further refined, supporting the eventual commercialisation of the building concept.