Statoil Considers Scotland for World’s First Floating Wind Farm

Statoil AS, Norway’s largest energy company, plans to build a demonstration site testing its “floating” offshore wind turbines and is considering two sites off the Scottish coast.

Statoil is also considering Norway and the U.S. state of Maine to test the commercial potential of its “Hywind” project, said company spokesman Oistein Johannessen today by telephone. It plans to decide on the site in 2011, he said.

In Scotland, Statoil identified waters off Lewis and Aberdeenshire and yesterday met with Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond to discuss collaboration, said a statement from the country’s government.

Statoil aims to build three to five Hywind machines at the site, when selected. A 2.3-megawatt prototype 10 kilometres offshore at Karmoy in Norway has been working “beyond expectations” at waters 200 metres deep, said Johannessen. It uses a Siemens AG turbine and French company Technip SA provided the floating technology.

The structure could be used in water up to 700 metres deep and is the world’s first full-scale floating turbine, according to Statoil.

Statoil’s renewable energy strategy is investing in technologies where it has “a competitive edge,” due to its oil and gas industry experience, said Johannessen.

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