World’s first floating offshore wind farm erected in Norway

World’s first floating offshore wind farm erected in Norway

The world’s first floating wind farm has been installed off the Western coast of Norway, in a significant technological advance for the offshore renewable energy industry.

Five turbines were ‘mated’ in the deep waters of Norway’s fjordlands, ready to be moved across the North Sea towards their final destination off Northeast Scotland.

The innovative US$256 million Hywind project has been led by Norwegian energy company Statoil, which is looking to transition away from carbon-based energy sources.

Irene Rummelhoff, head of the firm’s low-carbon division said: “It’s almost unlimited. Currently we are saying [floating windfarms will work in] water depths of between 100-700 metres, but I think we can go deeper than that. It opens up ocean that was unavailable.”

The technology uses a 78-metre tall underwater ballast and three mooring lines that will be attached to the seabed to keep the turbines stable and upright.

Newly anointed firm Siemens Gamesa completed the installation of the five 6MW turbines.

Michael Hannibal, CEO of offshore at Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, said: “It [floating wind farms] is a very interesting area that is initially a niche market. This niche may, however, develop over time into a large market.

“It is a niche in which we would like to build a strong position for this reason.”