Important Topic: Hywind Project

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The world's first floating wind farm has started delivering electricity to the Scottish grid. Five giant turbines have been tethered to the seabed about 15 miles from Peterhead in Aberdeenshire. The wind farm has been officially opened by Nicola Sturgeon.

The first minister said the project, which will generate enough power for about 20,000 homes, was testament to Scotland's "international reputation" for renewable energy. At 175m from sea surface to blade tip, the turbines are almost as tall as the Queens ferry Crossing. They extend another 78 metres below the surface and are chained to the seabed to stay in place. Norwegian energy firm Statoil has been working on developing the project, known as Hywind, for more than 15 years.

The floating approach allows turbines to be installed in much deeper waters than conventional offshore wind farms. This wind farm is positioned in water depths of up to 129m, whereas those fixed to the seabed are generally at depths of up to 50m. Statoil says up to 80 per cent of potential offshore wind sites are in waters more than 60m deep. The company believes floating turbines have the potential to work in depths of up to 800m.

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