The world’s first full-scale floating wind turbine is on stream

StatoilHydro inaugurates floating wind turbine

The world’s first full-scale floating wind turbine – StatoilHydro’s Hywind pilot – is being officially inaugurated in the North Sea. “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 Øvrum, executive vice president for Technology & New Energy (TNE) in StatoilHydro.

Hywind is a good example of the way StatoilHydro’s long experience from the offshore oil and gas business can be applied to tomorrow’s market for renewable energy. The floating wind turbine has been delivered within budget and on schedule.

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

“In that respect, our close collaboration with the supplies industry has played a key role in the success of the Hywind development.”

StatoilHydro is investing about NOK 340 million in the wind power project, with Enova providing NOK 59 million. The latter is a state-owned company which promotes environment-friendly changes to energy production and use in Norway.

Hywind comprises a 2.3-megawatt wind turbine installed on a traditional floater of the kind previously used for such applications as production platforms and offshore loading.

The turbine has been manufactured by the Siemens Wind Power company in Denmark, while France’s Technip built the floater and Nexans produced and laid the power cable to land.

Following assembly in the Åmøy Fjord near Stavanger, the Hywind pilot was towed in June to a location 10 kilometres south-west of Karmøy island for a two-year test period.

“Floating wind power remains an immature technology, and the road to commercialisation and full-scale construction of wind farms will be long,” says Øvrum.

“Our goal with the Hywind pilot to test how wind energy and waves affect the structure, learn how the operating concept can be optimised and identify technology gaps.”


* The tower is 65 metres high, supporting rotors 80 metres in diameter
* The floater has a draught of 100 metres, and is attached to the seabed by a three-point mooring spread
* Hywind is suitable for water depths of 120-700 metres
* The whole structure weighs 5,300 tonnes
* The pilot is to be tested over two years
* No serious health, safety or environmental incidents have occurred during the Hywind development

The Hywind pilot – next generation wind technology

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 Karmøy, where local grid operator Haugaland Kraft operates a receiving station.

The primary intention is not to derive revenues from the power generated by Hywind, but to test how wind and waves affect the structure. Once these answers have been obtained, StatoilHydro can work on commercialising the concept. The goal is to reduce costs so that floating wind power can compete in the energy market.

The core expertise acquired by StatoilHydro as a leading operator of offshore oil and gas fields has played a very important part in the development of the Hywind concept.

This expertise, combined with the group’s financial strength and innovative ability, puts StatoilHydro in a good position to develop this project.

About Hywind

Hywind is the world’s first full-scale floating wind turbine. StatoilHydro will test the wind turbine over a two-year period.

The project is a pilot for the Hywind concept, which has been developed by StatoilHydro.

StatoilHydro is investing around NOK 400 million in the construction and further development of the pilot, and in research and development related to the wind turbine concept. The public corporation Enova SF, whose aim is to promote the transition to environmentally friendly energy use and energy production in Norway, has granted NOK 59 million in support for the project.

The wind turbine can be placed at ocean depths of between 120 and 700 metres.