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2011-08-19 00:00:00 / Best Practice Projects

Project presentation - "Floating power plant"

Statoil ASA New Energy installed a prototype for a floating wind turbine. Now wind energy can be harvested on the open sea.

Wind energy is environmentally friendly and sustainable. However, neighboring residents often complain about the loud rotors, and with insufficient wind the turbines can be at a standstill for hours or days.

On the open sea there is almost always a breeze and the noise does not bother anyone. “Optimal conditions for a wind power plant,” thought Gunnar Nielsen. No sooner said than done: The ocean technology pioneer began to develop the world’s first floating wind power plant on behalf of Statoil ASA New Energy, Wind Energy.

The development work for the ambitious project took ten years. The most challenging problem was to securely anchor the power plant even in the strongest winds.  The solution was a floating steel body with three anchor columns attached securely to the ocean floor.

In autumn 2009 the pilot plant off Norway’s west coast was connected to the grid and has since delivered constant eco-power from wind energy. The plant is anchored at 200 meters depth. Its dimensions are impressive: alone the diameter of the rotors is 82.4 meters.

Thanks to the new technology, now offshore wind farms can be installed with ocean depths of 120 to 700 meters, providing a nearly unlimited potential for ecological and sustainable energy and a true wind of change.

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