Photographer: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Statoil Set to Build World's First Floating Wind Farm

Statoil ASA, the Norwegian energy company, was granted a lease to use the seabed off the east coast of Scotland and can now begin building the world’s first floating offshore wind farm.

The Hywind project will consist of five 6-megawatt turbines. They will float on steel tubes fastened to the seabed about 25 kilometers from the town of Peterhead, according to a statement issued by the company based in Stavanger, Norway.

The U.K.’s Crown Estate granted the lease, a step that allows Statoil to begin construction. Works onshore and near-shore are planned to begin later this year. Turbines will be installed in 2017.

Floating turbines allow offshore wind farms to be deployed in deeper waters, opening up the industry to areas such as Japan and Mediterranean countries. Statoil installed a floating turbine off the coast of Norway in 2009 for tests. The Hywind project will be the first multi-turbine array.

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