Enova to finance world’s biggest wind turbine (10 MW)

The wind energy project represents a significant potential reduction in the cost of generating offshore wind power. Enova’s commitment to renewable marine energy will make this project possible

The funding from Enova will contribute to the construction of a 10 MW wind turbine in Øygarden in Hordaland County, where the new technology will be tested on land over the next two years.

The wind turbine will be the world’s largest of its kind, with a rotor diameter of 145 metres. In cooperation with the Norwegian technology firm Smartmotor AS, Sway has developed the concept with a view towards reducing turbine weight and the number of moving parts, as well as the use of a gearless generator system.

Overall, the concept will result in higher energy generation for offshore wind power, and thus also lower operating costs. As many as 35-40 engineers have taken part in the work to develop the concept that will now undergo testing.

"Enova is dedicated to helping promote projects that can bring us closer to achieving the goal of commercial generation of offshore wind power. We regard this specific project as being very exciting. It represents a considerable ramping up of current technology, in which diverse Norwegian expert communities have cooperated to develop a totally new wind turbine design," says Nils Kristian Nakstad, Enova’s executive director.

Funding for the project has been provided under Enova’s support program Renewable marine power generation, launched in February 2009. Unlike most offshore wind energy projects where wind turbines rest on the seafloor, Sway wind turbines float. That allows development further offshore where winds are stronger and more consistent.

"There are many smart concepts aimed at exploiting the renewable energy potential along the coast and offshore. The goal of the program is to demonstrate and introduce innovative new energy solutions to the market by showcasing projects which can help qualify the technology in the form of energy results and operational experience," says Nils Kristian Nakstad. In 2009, funding was provided for two tidal power projects under this program.

"Enova’s support can help bring Norwegian technology to the global forefront when it comes to wind turbines that float or rest on the seabed," says a very pleased Eystein Borgen, managing director and founder of SWAY, who continues: "The funding will enable us to maintain the necessary rapid progression, as well as lay the foundation for total project financing. This is a huge inspiration for everyone involved in the project," he adds.

Sway AS is granted a licence from the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate for constructing a test turbine with accompanying infrastructure in Naturgassparken, Øygarden. The turbine will be located at the south of Ljøsøyna, within an area which is regulated for industrial purposes. The wind turbine will have a capacity of 10 MW and a rotor diameter of 145 meters.

A crucial factor for producing floating offshore wind turbines in the future, is to reduce the costs per energy unit. NVE has evaluated Sway’s test turbine as an important contribution to approach a technical- economical realization of possible future offshore energyproduction from fixed and floating wind power foundations.

Areva and Sway are pleased to announce their cooperation in offering new solutions to provide technology that makes it possible to exploit offshore winds in deep water for energy production.

Sway AS has been granted a licence from the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate for building a floating wind turbine plant for offshore wind power approximately 7 km outside Karmøy on the west coast of Norway.

SWAY – Changing the future of Wind Power

SWAY has developed a solution that will overcome the most significant arguments against wind power – lack of economy and disturbance of the landscape. The solution has the potential of securing a number of nations worldwide economical access to an unlimited energy source with no pollution and minimal environmental controversy.

SWAY is a renewable energy company, with world leading technology and competence on floating wind turbines located in deep water.

The patented SWAY® system: Wind turbines that produce power in deepwater locations where the average wind speed is higher and where the location of turbines will be less controversial.

SWAY’s technology allows economical extraction of wind power in nations with good wind resources and access to water depths of 80-400m within 50-60km from the coast.

The market potential worldwide is huge and SWAY aims to transform its technological edge to commercial success as the demand for renewable energy rises.

The SWAY technology will open up large new areas worldwide for harvesting wind energy. The medium to long term market potential is significant, comprising both electrification of offshore oil & gas installations and export to the onshore electricity market.

Wind power production can be more efficient in deep water locations due to the presence of consistently higher average wind speeds. At 50 km off the coast of Norway, where the water depth is typically between 100-300m, the power production from each wind turbine would be 20-30% higher than the same wind turbine located at the Horn’s Reef installation situated some 15 km off the west coast of Denmark. This improvement is simply due to the greater and more consistent winds further offshore.
Electrification of oil & gas installations

The SWAY® system is a viable solution for the electrification of oil & gas platforms with electricity production costs, including capital costs, well below the operational costs alone for the gas and diesel turbines used currently in the offshore industry. A detailed case study for the integration of wind power to an oil platform off the coast of Norway was successfully completed in 2004. The study concludes that it is both technically and economically feasible to integrate wind power with the existing gas and diesel generators on the offshore oil & gas platforms. The benefits of this integration would be savingsin the form of lower electricity costs and reduced emissions.

SWAY’s technology has the potential of providing Norway and several other countries (including USA, Japan, Ireland, Spain, Portugal and Italy) economical access to an unlimited energy source with no pollution and minimal environmental controversy.

SWAY has raised 150 million (NOK) in private equity. The equity raise provided the necessary financial platform for a commercialization of the company’s unique and patented deepwater wind turbine technology. Statoil and Lyse were the major investors in the equity raise.

Company history
2001: Inocean Construction A/S carries out dynamic simulations for the oil & gas industry. Idea for deep water offshore wind power conceived.
2002: First patent application of the SWAY system.
2003: The first detailed study of a large-scale SWAY wind park was carried out at a North Sea location in 120m water depth based on the SWAY® technology. Client: Major Oil & Gas company.
2004: A case study was carried out to utilize the SWAY technology to electrify an oil platform in the Norwegian Sea. Client: Shell Technology Norway.
2004: Inocean Construction A/S changed name to Sway A/S.
2005: A 10MNOK budget 3 year development project for the SWAY concept is initiated primo 2005 supported by the Norwegian Research Council, Statkraft, Shell Technology Norway and Lyse.
2006: Further development of original idea. Extensive dynamic simulations of the concept.
2007: Preparation of full scale prototype project.
2007: Equity raise 150 mill. NOK
2008: Sway is expanding the organization.
2008: Sway applies for concession. Download the application for concession here.
2009: Sway received concession from NVE.
2009: AREVA-Multibrid and Sway announce partnership.
2009: Sway seeks concession for test turbine in Øygarden. Download the press release here.
2009: Sway is granted concession for test turbine in Øygarden.