Norwegian multinational energy firm Equinor has been given permission to construct the world’s largest floating offshore wind farm, off the coast of the Canary Islands.
Equinor’s proposal to build the 200MW floating offshore wind farm has been approved by the Canary Island’s government and will cost £763M (€860).
Upon completion, the project would increase the Islands’ total renewable energy capacity by a third. At present, the Canary Islands relies on imported fossil fuels for nearly all its primary energy use.
Canary Islands minister for the economy, industry, commerce and knowledge Pedro Ortega said: “[The proposed floating wind farm] is an important support for the energy policy that we have developed [in government] in order to advance a more sustainable model and position the Canary Islands as a spearhead in the development of wind technology offshore, taking advantage of the endogenous advantages of the Archipelago and the interest that companies in the sector have in investing in new research, development and innovation projects.”
Equinor is already responsible for the world’s current largest operating floating wind farm, the 30MW Hywind Scotland project. The Hywind Scotland project was first approved by the Scottish government in late 2015 and began generating electricity in October 2017.
Offhore wind turbines mounted on a floating structures are able to generate electricity in water depths where fixed-foundation turbines are not feasible. They also have the adavtantage of reaching stronger and more consistent winds.
Equinor plans for construction on the floating wind farm to begin later this year and has suggested it could be operational in 2024.
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