The Scottish government has approved the construction of eight offshore wind turbines about nine miles southeast of Aberdeen.
The new wind farm is described as being the “world’s largest floating wind array” and is expected to create around 110 jobs. Once the farm is fully operational, it should generate enough electricity to power just under 56,000 homes.
Offshore wind farms have the advantage of higher wind speeds, and therefore a greater potential for power generation, but are more difficult to maintain. For example, a single engineer in a jeep can easily access any turbine in an onshore wind farm in order to effect a repair, while the same process offshore may require two engineers, a powerboat, and additional safety equipment and precautions. This makes it especially important to minimise turbine failure by using high-quality lubricants like Mobilith SHC 220.
The new wind farm in Aberdeenshire is particularly notable for its use of floating wind turbines. This enables it to be located further out to sea, making it much less noticeable from the shore and less disruptive to shipping and fishing lanes, and giving it the benefit of the usually stronger, more consistent winds over the sea.
Carlos Barat, the project’s director, said about the announcement:
“This will herald a new era allowing turbines to be installed in deeper waters further offshore.”
The first turbine should be on site in the second quarter of 2018, with the completed wind farm expected to prevent more than 94,500 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.