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World's first floating wind turbine

Article published on the 2009-09-08 Latest update 2009-09-08 14:39 TU

The Hywind device in position(Photo: Øyvind Hagen, StatoilHydro)

The Hywind device in position
(Photo: Øyvind Hagen, StatoilHydro)

StatoilHydro, one of the world’s largest offshore oil and gas companies, has begun testing the world’s first floating wind turbine.

The Norwegian company launched Hywind on Tuesday – a device designed to capture wind power whilst floating in deep-water environments.

It is tethered to the seabed 10 kilometres off the island of Karmoey, near Norway’s southwest coast, and will be tested over the next two years.

The turbine, which is manufactured by Siemens, is mounted on a steel cylinder 65 metres above sea level, and is filled with water and rocks to maintain balance.

Three cables anchor Hywind in position and a submarine cable carries the electricity generated back to the mainland.

StatoilHydro believe that the floating invention will enable the installation of more wind turbines, when finding space on land is difficult. They believe that having wind turbines off shore will avoid aesthetic problems, when local residents take issue with the sight of turbines in their area.

The tests are intended to determine how the device operates in different weather conditions and tidal flows.

And the company will invest around 34 million euros in development with a contribution from Norway’s governmental agency responsible for the promotion of environmentally friendly production and consumption of energy.

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