World's first floating wind turbine opens in Norway

September 8, 2009
The world's first floating full-scale offshore wind turbine in the North Sea off the coast of Norway. Norwegian energy giant StatoilHydro said that the world's first floating full-scale offshore wind turbine has been inaugurated in the North Sea off the coast of Norway.

The world's first floating full-scale offshore wind turbine has been inaugurated in the North Sea off the coast of Norway, Norwegian energy giant StatoilHydro said Tuesday.

The turbine known as Hywind, which measures 65 metres (213 feet) tall and weighs 5,300 tonnes, lies some 10 kilometres (seven miles) off the island of Karmoey near the Scandinavian country's southwestern coastline, the company said.

It rests upon a floating stand that is anchored to the seabed by three cables. Water and rocks are placed inside the stand to provide balast.

StatoilHydro plans to test Hywind over the next two years before it looks to set up any more floating with international partners.

StatoilHydro sees Japan, South Korea, California, the east coast of the United States and Spain as some of the potential markets to where this technology could be exported.

Hywind can be used in waters from 120 metres to 700 metres deep allowing it to be placed much further away from the shore than static wind turbines already in operation.

StatoilHydro's Anne Stroemmen Lycke told AFP that the floating turbine has "great advantages."

"It is not so easily seen from the coast, it can be placed in areas not used by others," she said.

"We could use such wind turbines in countries where are very deep or where there is little space left for land-based turbines," Stroemmen Lycke added.

A total of 400 million kroner (46 million euros, 66 million dollars) has been invested in the 2.3-megawatt floating turbine, making it a far more expensive option than its fixed counterpart.

"Our goal is to bring down the price to the level of fixed wind turbines that are currently installed in waters some 60 metres deep," Stroemmen Lycke said.

France's Technip and Germany's Siemens both worked with the Norwegian energy giant on the Hywind project.

It is set to start producing electricity in the next few weeks, StatoilHydro said.

(c) 2009 AFP

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1 / 5 (1) Sep 08, 2009
I can't think of what the French could have added.
2 / 5 (1) Sep 08, 2009
Nice idea here but let us keep watch for the data results. It is good to see other countries deeply involved in doing something proactive to help out this situation we have. Just remember folks we have never found a more hospitable planet to live on.
3 / 5 (2) Sep 09, 2009
I can't think of what the French could have added.

They gave the windmill free health care and then translated it's owners manual. Then it made sure the french owners manual was larger than the others.
not rated yet Sep 09, 2009
A total of 400 million kroner (46 million euros, 66 million dollars) has been invested in the 2.3-megawatt floating turbine, making it a far more expensive option than its fixed counterpart

The article does not seem to give much credit for this landmark development, and the value of development quoted above should never be used when comparing the cost of creating new units in the future with those land-based units.

When the cost of purchasing the territory of future windfarms is factored in, I am sure that 'off shore' property is going to start looking very attractive, and the costs of installation and maintenance will reduce as fleets of dedicated vessels are created, along with jobs for folks familiar with sailing and onboard crane operation, (re-equiping and retraining fishing fleets making use of existing skills and personnel).

I think this is great news, and I hope the technology spreads rapidly and far ...

Congratulations to the Hywind team.
not rated yet Sep 09, 2009
Now is the time to consider the identified risks to birds flying in flocks, (over land or sea), that fly through the wind farms - particularly at night. Perhaps use of strong flourescent / phosphorescent colours that make the mills (particularly the towers and blades) highly visible. At sea, this visibility can be quite 'ugly' to the human eye, but receive no complaints due to their remote location. Use of the same technology on land-based mills will be more politically difficult, but must be enforced to protect the millions of migrating birds finding these wind farms in the flight paths.

Further, the concerns about ElectroMagnetic Fields being created around the turbines producing health risks for local residents can be mitigated, (until confirmed or debunked), by placing wind turbines in these completely uninhabited areas. If this risk is later confirmed, all wind turbines, land and sea based, will need significant upgrades to the EMF shielding.
not rated yet Sep 10, 2009
I gathered from a public meeting in Llandeilo, uk July '05, that the 153M pound farm was expected to produce zero point 2M (0.2M) pounds worth of energy annually. They therefore pay for themselves within 8 hundred years. Not bad ! Sadly they have an official lifespan of only 25. Still why worry about that ! It's just great what you can do while the oil and money keeps flowing and lots of people think that they look great and it gives them hope. Well done Hywind ! Can you tell us where you got the money to do it with, because it is quite possible to get several percent of cost returned, annually, from a sensible design - but not kill so many birds. Well, you can't have everything !
1 / 5 (1) Sep 10, 2009
Never mind "electro-magnetic fields" - what about vampires being attracted to them. Already one has been attacked by UFO balls of light in uk. See "Ecotricity". One "blade" is missing - presumed abducted - and the other two look like
they overheated and went wiggly.
Also, only electrical things produce e-m fields, so how is a turbine going to do so ?
not rated yet Sep 12, 2009
@Bollox (presumably that is your angry nick)

No utility would ever put up wind turbines with an 800 year payback, more like a few decades but I'd have to check ecotricity or similar. You must have misheard or lost a few words in the meeting. Perhaps it was like our US health care town hall meetings, you wouldn't have heard anything then.

Also wind turbines drive electrical generators hence EMF, but I doubt it would have any effect on animals down on the ground and certainly not outside the wooshing sound zone.


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