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Floating offshore wind turbine installed by Siemens and StatoilHydro

What could be the world’s first large-scale floating offshore wind turbine has been installed by Siemens and StatoilHydro off the coast of Norway.

The offshore wind turbine, which is part of Siemens and StatoilHydro’s Hywind project, is located 12 km off the south east coast of Karmøy, Norway, at a water depth of about 220 m.

StatoilHydro is responsible for the floating structure, which consists of a steel floater with ballast. The floating element extends 100 m beneath the surface and is fastened to the seabed by three anchor wires.

Hywind is designed to be suitable for water depths of 120-700 m, which, according to Siemens, “could open up for many new possibilities within offshore wind turbine technology,” as currently, foundations become very expensive at depths deeper than 30-50 m.

Henrik Stiesdal, CTO of Siemens Wind Power Business Unit, says: “We have created an advanced system that we trust will be capable of managing the special operating conditions of the floating turbine.”

The Hywind project uses Siemens’ SWT 2.3 MW offshore wind turbine with a rotor diameter of 82 m. The floating wind turbine will be tested over a two year period. From the middle of July this year, the Hywind project will feed electricity into the Norwegian grid.

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