Offshore wind

World’s Largest Floating Windfarm Begins Delivering Electricity

The 50-MW Kincardine Offshore Windfarm is 15 km off the coast of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, in water depths from 60 to 80 m.

Courtesy of Cobra Group

The world’s largest floating windfarm has begun operating off the coast of Scotland. The 50-MW Kincardine Offshore Windfarm is 15 km off the coast of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, in water depths from 60 to 80 m.

The project consists of five 9.5-MW turbines and one 2-MW turbine, each installed on WindFloat semisubmersible platforms designed by Principle Power. The 9.5-MW turbines are the highest-capacity wind turbines to be installed on floating platforms.

“The Kincardine project shows how boundaries of offshore wind technology are constantly being pushed forward,” said Nils de Baar, the president of Vestas Central and Northern Europe, maker of the turbines. “We have once again demonstrated that the world’s most powerful turbines can be installed on floating substructures.”

“Kincardine is further showing the readiness and commercial potential of floating technology,” said Aaron Smith, Principle Power’s chief commercial officer. “With 80% of the world’s offshore wind resources in deepwater areas, floating technologies like the WindFloat open several new geographies to harness the boundless supply of clean energy contained therein.

Kincardine is expected to generate more than 200 GWh of electricity a year, enough renewable electricity to power more than 50,000 Scottish households.

“The UK has led the way in realizing the potential of floating wind and is now recognized globally as a key market for floating wind developments,” Smith said.

The Kincardine project was started back in 2014 by Allan MacAskill and Lord Nicol Stephen, now both directors of Flotation Energy. In 2016, Cobra Group became the main investor in Kincardine Offshore Windfarm. Cobra Wind, a subsidiary of Cobra Group, has been responsible for delivery of the project, including engineering, construction, installation, and commissioning.

“The Kincardine project is not only the world’s largest it has also been a fantastic foundation for other joint venture projects between Cobra and Flotation Energy,” said Jose Antonio Fernández, Cobra’s senior manager.

The Kincardine team also also announced the selection of Aberdeen as its operations and maintenance base.

“Our local team, managed by Cobra, will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the project,” said Jaime Altolaguirre, the project director from Cobra. “We will be using Scottish-based companies with proven North Sea capabilities, drawing on their experience maintaining offshore semisubmersibles and platforms over the last 50 years. It could not be a better fit.”

The windfarm has a life expectancy of 25 years.