Power has started flowing from the world's first deepwater offshore wind turbine, 25 kilometres off the north-east coast of Scotland. The turbine is the first of two Repower 5 MW machines being installed in up to 45 metres of water near the Beatrice oilfield owned by Canadian oil company Talisman Energy. Installation of the second turbine -- due to have taken place last autumn but delayed by bad weather -- is expected to be installed this summer. The demonstrator project, known as DOWNViND (Distant Offshore Wind Farms No Visual Impact iN Deepwater), is a joint venture between Talisman and Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE). Electricity from the 85 metre high turbine will power the nearby Beatrice oil platform. The project receives substantial funding from the EU and the UK and Scottish governments, in addition to the joint venture partners. The aim is to test the feasibility of large scale offshore developments in deep water. Talisman states that only when this analysis is complete will it examine the potential for a large scale offshore wind farm at the site. The company has claimed that the two turbine project could be the forerunner of a 200 turbine wind farm. Talisman's president and CEO, Jim Buckee, calls the first power flows from the turbine a "huge milestone" in the project. "We look forward to installing the second turbine this summer in order that the demonstrator project can become fully operational, and in doing so help prolong the life of the Beatrice oilfield."
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol