Two potential sites identified for world's first floating wind farm

Two sites in Scotland have been identified as potential sites for the world's first floating wind farm.

Statoil, a Norwegian based oil company, met First Minister Alex Salmond to discuss the possibility of developing the world's first floating wind farm in Scotland.

One site off the coast of Lewis and one off Aberdeenshire have been identified that could be suitable for a pilot park, testing the concept of their Hywind floating turbines further.

Statoil has already constructed a full scale prototype Hywind unit, anchored ten kilometres offshore at Karmøy in Norway. The floating wind turbine is performing beyond expectations and has delivered power to the grid since September 2009.

The next stage of the project could involve constructing between three and five Hywind units to document the commercial potential of the concept.

Scottish Development International and Marine Scotland have been working closely with Statoil to support the current feasibility studies for such a project in Scotland, which could open the doors to the development of full-scale floating wind farms in deep water.

Salmond said: "We are working to maximise the huge benefits that offshore wind can bring to Scotland - estimated to be around £30 billion worth of investment and up to 20,000 Scottish jobs, while cutting emissions and delivering energy security."

"The Hywind II wind farm project would see a Scotland-Norway collaboration push the boundaries of deepwater offshore wind beyond the 100m mark and open up vast areas of the world 's oceans to the development of wind energy for the first time."

Further information:
Scottish Government