Jun 29, 2017 - Energy & Environment

Scotland will be home to the world's first floating wind farm

Charlie Riedel / AP

The world's first floating wind farm — made up of 5 turbines over 800 feet in height — will soon be installed off the coast of Scotland, allowing the ocean to be tapped for renewable energy, per The Guardian.

The benefits: Floating wind farms could be placed anywhere, opening up new frontiers for wind energy that could not be utilized previously. Fixed-bottom turbines, which are attached to the sea floor, can only be installed at depths up to 40 meters — usually very close to shore, where they can often meet resistance from citizens' groups due to environmental and aesthetic concerns.

The problem: Right now, it's the $228 million price tag. A floating wind farm costs more than double a conventional fixed-bottom wind farm of similar generating capacity. Plus, it requires expensive special equipment to move the turbines into place. But experts expect the costs should even out by 2030.

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