The Hywind concept combines known technologies in a completely new setting and opens up the possibility for capturing wind energy in deep-water environments. The core expertise acquired by Statoil as a leading operator of offshore oil and gas fields has played a very important part in the development of the Hywind concept.
The floating structure consists of a steel cylinder filled with a ballast of water and rocks. It extends 100 metres beneath the sea’s surface and is attached to the seabed by a three-point mooring spread.
The primary intention of the demo concept was not to derive revenues from the power generated by Hywind, but to test how wind and waves affect the structure. Hywind has generated 15 MWh of production since startup in 2010. Statoil will continue to test throughout 2011 and 2012 in order to gain further data for optimising the next generation of Hywind. The goal now is to commercialise the concept, by developing a supplier market to reduce costs so that floating wind power can compete in the energy market.
As the Hywind concept is perfectly adapted to deep waters close to large power consumption regions throughout the world, combined with a unique ability of flexible location choice provides considerable market opportunities. The expertise gained through the demo turbine, combined with the group’s financial strength and innovative ability, puts Statoil in a good position to develop this technology into to a cost competitive offshore wind concept.
Hywind is the world’s first full-scale floating wind turbine. In 2009. Statoil invested around NOK 400 million in the construction and further development of the pilot, and in research and development related to the wind turbine concept. The public corporation Enova SF, whose aim is to promote the transition to environmentally friendly energy use and energy production in Norway, has granted NOK 59 million in support for the project.
Through the first two years of testing, the concept has been verified, and it continually exceeds preforms beyond expectations. With few operational challenges, excellent production output, and well-functioning technical systems the Hywind concept could revolutionize the future of offshore wind.
The Hywind concept is a door opener for completely new renewable energy business opportunities, unlocking huge offshore areas for clean energy production. This is a direct result of Statoil’s extensive offshore oil and gas experience. Our next step will be the development of small pilot parks. We are currently assessing possible locations for a future pilot park of 3-5 turbines, Statoil is focusing on identifying sites in US and UK.