Largest ever floating windfarm to go ahead
Norway's Statoil energy company have secured a seabed lease and will soon begin construction on the ‘world’s largest’ floating windfarm off of Scotland’s east coast.
The Hywind project will consist of placing five 6MW turbines — deployed in deeper water than any previous offshore turbines around the coast of the UK — 25km off the coast of Peterhead.
Floating windfarms are being heralded by some as the future of wind energy. Fixed offshore wind turbines are not cost-effective to construct in water deeper than 40 metres. In addition to being structurally practical, floating turbines placed further out to sea will benefit from some of the world’s strongest winds.
On-shore and near-shore components of the Hywind project will be constructed starting later this year, with turbines deployed and starting to generate power by the end of 2017.
Hywind Scotland project director, Leif Delp, said: "We are very pleased to develop this project in Scotland, in a region with a huge wind resource and an experienced supply chain from oil and gas."
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.