Specialist mooring solution secures first floating wind farm

27 Apr 2018 Reading time calculated text

After six months in operation, the world’s first floating wind farm, Hywind, is performing above expectations according to owners Statoil.

It is achieving an average capacity of 65 percent – in comparison with typical capacities of between 45-60 percent for fixed offshore wind farms – despite one hurricane, one winter storm and wave heights of up to 8.2m.

Located 25km off the coast of Scotland, UK, Hywind’s five 6MW wind turbines provide enough electricity for 20,000 homes. Designed to demonstrate cost-efficient solutions that enable the commercial capture of wind energy in deep-water environments, the pioneering project is held in position by Pusnes mooring connection systems from MacGregor.

MacGregor developed a fairlead chain-stopper system for Hywind with special features to prevent mooring line fatigue induced by out-of-plane bending (OPB). Also, as the system does not use any winches to ‘pull-in’ and deliver tension on the spar, pre-tension was achieved by externally pulling the mooring lines with anchor handling vessels.