www.chinaview.cn 2008-05-23 19:03:41
State-controlled StatoilHydro ASA, based in the western port of Stavanger, announced it intent Thursday. StatoilHydro is the key producer in the offshore oil industry that makes Norway a major petroleum exporter.
The company said the 80 million U.S. dollar pilot project combines its offshore oil experience with advanced technology for wind power.
"We have drawn on our offshore expertise from the oil and gas industry to develop wind power offshore," said Alexandra Bech Gjoerv, head of StatoilHydro's new energy unit.
The 2.3 megawatt windmill will be placed about six miles off the coast of Karmoey, near Stavanger on the west coast. StatoilHydro said it has already signed contracts for the construction of the wind turbine and its floating base. The electricity will be sent to land through underwater cables.
Previous ocean windmill projects have been based on towers built onto the seabed near land, rather than floating structures. However, windmills on land or near the coast often draw complaints they spoil the view and disturb wildlife.
Bech Gjoerv said the windmill, with 260-foot blades, will be mounted on top of a giant spar buoy, a floating structure that is six meters in diameter and 100 meters deep. Spar buoys are often used for such things as offshore loading of oil from platforms to tankers.
The company said it plans to conduct a two-year test with the unit after it is goes on line in late 2009 in hopes of demonstrating that floating wind power is commercially viable.