A huge new wind farm planned for the Icelandic coast would mark a wonderful step for offshore winds if it were built. We’ll probably explore its possibilities soon, as the company behind it is working on an unusually short timeline, in addition to the surprising scale and challenging location. Offshore winds have exploded in recent years, doubling the process since 2010, reducing the cost of energy produced at an unprecedented rate. Coastal wind is usually more expensive per unit of energy produced than land wind farms, but is caught faster.
Moreover, power companies often offer a premium for greater reliability and offshore and coastal winds are sometimes commendable, producing maximum power at different times. Nevertheless, the lion’s share of currently installed offshore wind turbines is in only two places; Off the North Sea and the Chinese coast. Operations are just beginning on the American East Coast that provides shallow water near power consumption sites, such as existing sites.
Hackett Independent Power’s (HIP) proposal is quite different. They want to build a 10 gigawatt wind farm outside of Iceland as a set of semi-separate “pods”, but send the generated electricity to Britain. The world’s largest operating offshore windfarm is 1.2 gigawatts, and the previous largest offering is 8.2 gigawatts. Iceland, which provides geothermal and hydroelectric energy (and in the world’s most likely small amount of solar) does not need to bring energy from the wind, although they can appreciate the work that HIP assures. The UK and European grids are connected to it, it is a different matter. In such a hospitable situation wind farms will further increase the cost of construction and maintenance, as will the internal cables needed to bring the electricity generated south of the high-power plant.
However, HIP is reviewing the fact that Iceland and the North Sea have different air regimes, so they will have the ability to offer when they are most needed. HIP Chair and former UK energy minister Sir Tony Baldry said in a statement; “We will expand our British-operated wind farms beyond our traditional territorial waters, pushing the boundaries of existing cable technology across England to more than a thousand kilometers from our grid landfall points.” HIP reflects wind power and continuity over empty seas and advances in turbine form, predicting a 65 percent capacity factor.