Abu Dhabi's Masdar buys 25 pct stake in floating wind farm in U.K

ABU DHABI, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi green energy firm Masdar has acquired a 25 percent stake in Hywind Scotland, the world’s first offshore floating wind farm, it said on Tuesday.

Hywind Scotland, a 30 megawatt (MW) pilot wind farm on the north-east coast of Scotland is a joint venture between Norway’s Statoil, which holds a 75 percent stake and Masdar.

No investment outlay was given.

Commercial operation is scheduled for late 2017. Statoil and Masdar have agreed to share the development risk and Masdar will cover 25 percent of past and future costs, a statement from Masdar said.

“When complete, Hywind Scotland will be the first floating wind farm in the UK and its novel technology offers vast, global potential,” the statement said.

The pilot project aims to take advantage of Scotland’s huge offshore wind resource by operating in waters exceeding 100 metres depth, demonstrating cost efficient and low risk solutions for commercial scale parks, it added.

The project comprises five 6MW floating wind turbines anchored to the seabed. The farm covers an area of around four-square kilometres, with the average wind speed in this area of the North Sea is around 10 metres per second.

Investment in the Hywind project will increase Masdar’s presence in the U.K to 1.06 gigawatts of gross electricity generating capacity, the statement said.

Masdar owns a 20 percent stake in the London Array offshore wind farm project and a 35 percent stake in Britain’s Dudgeon project.

Wholly-owned by Abu Dhabi investment fund Mubadala , Masdar has invested in renewable energy across the Middle East. Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates is investing billions of dollars in industry, tourism, infrastructure and renewables to diversify its economy away from oil. (Reporting By Stanley Carvalho, editing by Louise Heavens)