Norwegian-based oil and gas company Statoil has decided to further focus on offshore wind turbines as part of its strategy for renewable energy. The decision reflects the strong international growth in this segment, according to the company.
As part of its commitment to offshore turbines, Statoil will make provisions for a gradual divestment of its wind power projects on land. The company has a relatively limited wind power portfolio on land, comprising 18 turbines operating at two locations in Norway.
Statoil is collaborating broadly with suppliers in Norway and abroad on developing important technological solutions for offshore wind turbines. The goal is to achieve a cost per kilowatt-hour generated that will make it possible to operate wind farms without subsidies in the long term.
The company has developed a prototype for a floating wind turbine called the Hywind. The turbine is being tested off the shore of southwestern Norway.
‘We can point to very good results after a year's operation,’ says Sjur Bratland, Statoil's asset manager for the Hywind project. ‘It now looks as if we'll be able to cut the costs of floating wind turbines by more than 50 percent. And we can see that the new technology incorporated in Hywind functions as intended.’
Statoil is currently analyzing alternative locations for a demonstration farm that will use several floating turbines as the next stage in commercialization.