Vestavind Offshore wind power blows into the Far East

The rugged Norwegian coastline enjoys optimal conditions for wind power, along with some of the harshest weather in the world. Vestavind Offshore was founded in 2009 and awarded a license to build the country’s first full-scale offshore wind farm to tap into the region’s renewable power source, while withstanding frequent stormy gusts and waves.

The company plans to install up to 70 wind turbines off Har y on the Norwegian central west coast by using technology from the oil and offshore industry. The Vestavind team has years of relevant industrial experiences while emphasizing cost reductions.

"I believe there is a climate challenge today. Some applicable solutions for offshore wind energy are present and my motivation to enter the renewable energy sector is to apply these solutions and contribute with our industrial experiences in oil and gas to bring costs down and make it sustainable. Our target is to reduce construction costs by 40 percent," said Anne-Grete Ellingsen, CEO of Vestavind Offshore.

"This will be made possible by doing the building inshore – in one of the deep water fjords and towing it out when it’s complete," she said.

This eliminates the need for complex offshore installations. Inshore production is less hazardous and more efficient during harsh weather conditions. After completion, the installations can be towed out with the use of conventional vessels as opposed to purpose-built installation ships.

One of the remaining concerns is the high cost of wind turbines. With only two major players worldwide, more competition is needed to lower costs. Ellingsen believes Chinese wind power manufacturers can play an important role.

"Price differences between European and Chinese wind turbines are big. We’re holding a competition and we will decide which is the best wind turbine based on price and quality. The next few years are crucial. We are searching for partners, including in China who have sufficient industrial experiences to add competence to the original equipment manufactured parts of the project and who have experience in energy production," she said.