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First offshore wind farm in deep water


Image: Hi energy

Listening to the wind roar in the woods on the hill last night, I thought I would mention a British wind project, which the Wall Street Journal described last Thursday.

The offshore project is an Anglosphere collaboration, and aims to harness the windy gales of the North Sea, with a difference -

The Brits have developed “the world's biggest wind turbines - each has blades longer than a football field - in the Moray Firth, a large inlet off the rugged east coast of Scotland.” The difference - It is “the first offshore wind farm in deep water (150 feet) far from land (15 miles)".

Talisman Energy, the Canadian oil and gas company running the project in a joint venture with utility Scottish & Southern Energy PLC, “plans to ramp it up into a spectacular 200-turbine wind farm that would turn North Sea gales into enough electricity for a million people - a fifth of Scotland's population." Wind farms have not been deployed in deep water before. "Talisman used a jacket structure with four legs and a lattice frame - a design borrowed from oil rigs.” It is not inexpensive, the British government has provided incentives, and the investment must succeed long-term to pan out.

Critics are concerned about the effect of shipping lanes and seabird sanctuaries. In the past, Norway has reported "serious environmental effects, insufficient production, and high production costs" associated with wind power.

The difference here may be the deep water site and the North Sea's reliability in providing wind energy in contrast to many parts of the world where the winds blow off and on. I admire the technology, but wonder about 200 massive wind towers. Out of sight, out of mind?