Hywind, the world’s first full-scale floating wind turbine is on streamStatoilHydro’s pilot facility is anchored 10 kilometres off Karmoey, in south-western Norway, and was inaugurated on Tuesday.

“Today, we’re inaugurating the pilot facility which could help floating wind turbines to make an important contribution in the longer term to meeting the world’s big demand for energy,” says Margareth Oevrum, executive vice president for Technology & New Energy (TNE) in StatoilHydro.

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The Hywind pilot is to be tested over a two-year period. It combines technology from both the wind power and oil and gas sectors, and draws on expertise gained from StatoilHydro’s long offshore experience.

“We’ve drawn on experience acquired during 30 years on the Norwegian continental shelf to realise this groundbreaking project,” says Gunnar Myreboe, executive vice president for Projects & Procurement in StatoilHydro

The Hywind concept combines known technologies in a completely new setting and opens up the possibility for capturing wind energy in deep-water environments.

The floating structure consists of a steel cylinder filled with a ballast of water and rocks. It extends 100 metres beneath the sea’s surface and is attached to the seabed by a three-point mooring spread.

The turbine itself was manufactured by Siemens. Technip built the floater and was responsible for the installation work offshore. Nexans Norway laid the submarine power line. This comes ashore near Skudeneshavn at the southern end of Karmoey, where local grid operator Haugaland Kraft operates a receiving station.

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