THE world's first full-scale floating wind farm is to be formally opened by Nicola Sturgeon on Wednesday.

Power will be brought to 20,000 homes from the wind farm, known as Hywind, moored 25km off the coast of Peterhead

The technology being trialled allows wind power to be harvested in waters too deep for the existing conventional turbines.

Manufacturer Statoil has installed a 30 MW wind turbine farm on floating structures at Buchan Deep.

The firm hopes to capitalise on a boom in the technology, particularly in Japan and the west coast of America, where waters are deeper.

The First Minister said the floating windfarm showed Scotland was at the cutting edge of promoting renewable energy.

Sturgeon said: “Scotland has developed an international reputation for modern, renewable energy technologies, and Hywind Scotland – the world’s first floating wind farm – is testament to that.

“Last month I set out our Programme for Government which made firm commitments to create a cleaner and greener Scotland and the development of renewable energy is vital to achieve this.

"This pilot project underlines the potential of Scotland’s huge offshore wind resource and positions Scotland at the forefront of the global race to develop the next generation of offshore wind technologies.

“In addition to the green benefits of renewable energy, it also has a very significant contribution to make to our economy.

"I’m pleased Scottish suppliers have contributed to the Hywind project from the development through to the production phase and are still involved to investigate long term potential for floating wind."