StatoilHydro has decided to build the world’s first full scale floating wind turbine, Hywind, and test it over a two-year period offshore Karmøy. The The company is investing approximately 400 million NOK [~$60 million]. Planned startup is autumn 2009.
StatoilHydro has developed HyWind based on floating concrete constructions familiar from North Sea oil installations. In this way we exploit the wind where it is strongest and most consistent — far out to sea.
The project combines known technology in an innovative way. A 2.3 MW wind turbine is attached to the top of a so-called Spar-buoy, a solution familiar from production platforms and offshore loading buoys.
“If we succeed, then we will have taken a major step in moving the wind power industry offshore”, says Alexandra Bech Gjørv, head of New Energy in StatoilHydro. (Photo: Øyvind Hagen, StatoilHydro)
“We have drawn on our offshore expertise from the oil and gas industry to develop wind power offshore,” says Alexandra Bech Gjørv, head of New Energy in StatoilHydro.
The rotor blades on the floating wind turbine will have a diameter of 80 metres, and the nacelle will tower some 65 metres above the sea surface. The floatation element will have a draft of some 100 metres below the sea surface, and will be moored to the seabed using three anchor points. The wind turbine can be located in waters with depths ranging from 120 to 700 metres.
“Taking wind turbines to sea presents new opportunities. The wind is stronger and more consistent, areas are large and the challenges we are familiar with from onshore projects are fewer,” says Alexandra Bech Gjørv.