In Scotland, offshore Peterhead, there is the first floating wind farm of the world. In 2015, with an investment of 200 million euros, Equinor starts the construction of this wind farm made by 5 turbines in 4 square kilometers of sea, depths between 95 and 120 meters.
Turbines should provide enough electricity for 36,000 families. To optimize costs and reduce risks, both the floating structure and the turbine are mounted on shore, transported separately at sea and then assembled. The great advantage of this technology is while the traditional offshore can be positioned in the sea no more than 60 meters deep, the floating one reaches where the water is deepest and the strongest and most regular winds.
It positioned the buoys and then the massive turbo-generators. Imposing but also intelligent. In fact, they comply with sea and wind conditions thanks to sensors and computers that regulate the movement of the blades and dampen the movements of the tower, reducing the tension on the moorings and maximizing the production of electricity.
The buoy to which the turbine is attached is a hollow steel cylinder with a diameter of 15 meters: to make it float in a vertical position it is filled with 8000 tons of sea water and ballasted with 5000 tons of rocks or metals.
Estimates tell us that nearly 80% of the world's offshore wind potential lies in water deeper than 60 meters. According to the International Energy Agency, wind power at sea will grow exponentially over the next two decades thanks to the impulse of floating solutions.
In Italy the largest floating wind farm in the world
In Italy the largest floating wind farm in the world. The first floating power station in Europe was built in Scotland, in the North Sea. In Italy, the Toto family company has exceeded one thousand megawatts installed and another 250 are managed between Tunisia and Morocco, and also in the United States, in offshore wind, with a 1,837 megawatts off the Maryland coast in two projects.
In the Strait of Sicily Toto started towards the construction of the first Italian floating power plant. The chosen place is the Sicilian channel over 60 kilometers from the coast between Tunisia and the area between Mazara del Vallo and Trapani.
Riccardo Toto said: "The position has been identified because it does not hinder maritime or tourist traffic, it does not disturb the migratory routes of birds, as the experts we are collaborating with explained to us.
We have also foreseen that on each platform there are position detectors. of cetaceans, for the collection of data that will be useful for their study. We hope to start the project with the agreement of all interested parties."
Toto group wants to obtain the assessment by 2023. General manager of Renexia, Riccardo Toto reveals how local administrations, coast guards, environmental associations were involved: from each one observations and suggestions were collected.
The depth ranges from 100 to 600 meters, 190 turbines will be anchored here, spaced from each other 3.5 kilometers, for a total installed of 2,900 megawatts, the equivalent of energy sufficient for 3.4 million households and an annual turnover of one billion euros when fully operational. While the overall investment of the project amounts to 9 billion euros.