|The HyWind floating turbine. Click to enlarge.|
StatoilHydro will build the world’s first full-scale floating wind turbine, Hywind, and test it over a two-year period offshore Karmøy, Norway. (Earlier post.) The company is investing approximately 400 million NOK (US$80 million) in the project, and plans to have the floating turbine in operation in autumn 2009.
Wind is strongest and most consistent far out to sea, making deepwater placement of wind turbines attractive for power generation. StatoilHydro has developed HyWind based on floating concrete constructions familiar from North Sea oil installations—HyWind consists of a 2.3 MW wind turbine attached to the top of a Spar-buoy.
The rotor blades on the 138-tonne floating wind turbine will have a diameter of 80 meters, and the nacelle will be 65 meters above the sea surface. The floatation element will have a draft of some 100 meters 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 meters.
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.—Alexandra Bech Gjørv, head of New Energy in StatoilHydro.
The pilot project will be assembled in Åmøyfjorden near Stavanger and is to be located some 10 kilometers offshore Karmøy in the county of Rogaland. The wind turbine itself is to be built by Siemens, with which StatoilHydro has entered into a technology development agreement. The wind turbines must function optimally even in large waves.
Technip will build the floatation element and have responsibility for the installation offshore. Nexans will lay cables to shore, and Haugaland Kraft will be responsible for the landfall. Enova is supporting the project with 59 million NOK.
A three-meter high model has already been tested successfully in SINTEF Marintek’s wave simulator in Trondheim. The goal of the pilot is to qualify the technology and reduce costs to a level that will mean that floating wind turbines can compete with other energy sources.
StatoilHydro is the world’s largest deepwater operator and the world’s third largest net seller of crude oil.