Categories: NewsletterPublished On: 13.05.2021412 words2.1 min read

Peterhead is providing the base for the world’s first floating wind farm.

The skills, the space and the supply chain – all that has been built up in Peterhead in support of the North Sea oil & gas industry is being readily translated across to the new opportunities in offshore renewables.

The UK’s first offshore wind farms were built in the 2000s, and Peterhead is well placed to play its part in supporting developments and providing O&M (operations and maintenance) services.

Peterhead is providing the base for Equinor’s Hywind project – the world’s first floating wind farm, which is just off Peterhead.

“Most wind turbines today are fixed to the seabed in waters less than 60 metres deep – but the next generation of offshore wind turbines are being designed to float further out to sea, where winds are stronger, but the water depths make bottom-fixed designs uneconomic”, says Equinor.

Hywind is based on a spar buoy design and its great stability is provided by gravity. The floating wind turbines are moored to the seabed with multiple mooring lines and anchors, in much the same way that a floating oil platform is moored, says the operator.

Crew transfer vessels serving Hywind have a permanent location in Peterhead harbour, where personnel and workshops are also located at ASCO’s base.

Peterhead also handled the foundation pieces for the Aberdeen offshore wind farm, which was installed in 2019.

“We have also handled a number of shipments of turbine components for onshore wind farms – we are expecting more of these in 2020 and beyond”, says Chief Financial Officer Stephen Paterson.

Renewables in Operation

Peterhead Port Authority is working hard to reduce its carbon footprint and step up its green credentials.

  • The new fish market has solar panels on the roof.
  • The port already secures 80% of its power from renewable sources, and it is steadily transitioning across to 100%.
  •  Fishing boats plug into onshore power, which is provided on a renewable energy basis.
  • The Port Authority is carrying out feasibility studies looking at the potential for installing wave energy devices in the port.

The port also supplies onshore developments. A giant transformer destined for the new onshore substation supporting the 950MW Moray East offshore wind farm was shipped into Peterhead in October 2019. Measuring almost 12 metres long and weighing 260 tonnes, the transformer was moved by heavy lift specialist Allelys. After unloading at the port, it was transported 35 miles by road, in a 70-metre convoy complete with police escort.