After years of planning, a large experimental wind farm has been built off the coast of Scotland. Named the ‘European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre’ (EOWDC), it’s been funded by Swedish company Vattenfall and was officially opened today (7th September 2018) by the Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
The wind farm was opposed by the now-US president who owns a local golf course, and didn’t appreciate the view. Expressing concerns first in 2006, Trump made an unsuccessful complaint against the Scottish government shortly after formal construction plans were submitted. In true fashion, Trump then filed a lawsuit in 2013 and swore to “spend whatever monies are necessary to see to it that these huge and unsightly industrial wind turbines are never constructed.” After a number of challenges, the lawsuit was struck down by the UK’s Supreme Court in 2015.
The project will supply nearly three quarters of Aberdeen’s domestic power demand – around 80,000 households – giving a sizeable boost to C02 reduction. Windswept and with large swathes of coast, Scotland has strong renewables potential that it is tapping to help mitigate the long-term oil revenue slump that’s envisaged.
You can see the location of the wind farm on the map below, as ‘Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm’.
Why it matters: The EOWDC is a testing facility for future wind power technology. The facility’s eleven turbines have the largest turbine capacity in commercial operation worldwide – with two at 8.8MW and nine at 8.4MW. A single rotation from the larger turbine provides the average British household with electricity for a full day.
The EOWDC will focus on studying new wind power technology, and the impact of wind farms on marine life. Instead of using hollow steel tubes (monopiles stuck into the seafloor), the turbines will use ‘suction buckets’, explained in video here – these reduce noise and minimise disturbance to wildlife. Further study on marine life will focus on wind farm impacts on dolphins, salmon, sea birds, and sea trout.