Masdar, an Abu Dhabi-based energy company has announced a new partnership with the Norwegian energy companies Statoil and Statkraft for a 402 MW offshore wind farm.
Masdar acquired a 35% stake in the 402 MW Dudgeon wind farm, which is enough to power up to 410,000 U.K. households.
‘Combined with London Array, Dudgeon puts Masdar at the forefront of offshore wind development in the U.K.,” said Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, chairman of Masdar. ‘It will significantly contribute to the expansion of the U.K.’s renewable energy capacity. It also reinforces the U.A.E. and the U.K.’s shared commitment to drive the growth of the renewable energy sector.’
Why Use Offshore Wind Energy?
There is some opposition to the installation of offshore wind farms because they generate electricity at a higher cost than onshore farms.
This doesn’t mean that offshore wind should be abandoned. Offshore wind has unique benefits, and the cost of it might come down as the industry grows and matures.
Strides have already been made. For example: switching from geared turbines to gearless turbines has reduced the cost of turbine maintenance. This is of paramount importance to offshore wind farms especially because it costs more to maintain wind farms offshore than it does onshore.
Unfortunately, every technology requires early adopters to pay the high initial cost and help the industry take off.
Offshore Wind Farms – The Main Benefits
Offshore wind farms enjoy stronger, more consistent winds than the onshore type, and therefore provide more electricity, and with less variation.
The reduced power variation helps to offset the cost of energy storage (if any is used), because less energy storage capacity is required to supply power during shortfalls in generation. If no energy storage is used, there is still a benefit: Reduced variability translates to lower gas backup requirements.
Dudgeon wind farm is located off the coast of Norfolk, East England. The U.K. currently has one of the greatest offshore wind farm markets.
(Nicholas Brown blogs at Kompulsa.com)