World’s First Floating Wind Turbine Finds New Calling

Source: Unitech

Equinor has entered into an agreement with Unitech Offshore for the takeover of its Hywind Demo floating wind turbine in Norway.

The turbine will be renamed to UNITECH Zefyros at Hywind Technology from 1 February and will be used as an infrastructure for research and technology projects in Metcentre at Karmøy.

In its next phase, the floating turbine will also be utilized as a hub for connecting new turbines, and for the development, testing and qualification of new technologies, as well as teaching and training, Unitech said.

“When UNITECH Offshore takes over the ownership and operation of the turbine, it is with pride and expectations,” said Unitech CEO, Gunnar Birkeland.

“The pioneering work that became this historic wind turbine will be transferred to a new phase and made available for research and technology development as part of the “Sustainable Energy Ocean Test Facility” and for the benefit of all those who are concerned with Sustainable Energy at sea.”

Unitech’s Technology Center at Rubbestadneset will be used as an operating center and data center where youth, college students and experts can share, learn and solve challenges.

According to the company, the turbine will supply electricity to Karmøy equivalent to 400 households each year for ten more years.

“We are pleased that UNITECH is now taking over the ownership and operation of the turbine. Hywind Demo has been very important for Equinor’s development of floating offshore wind since it came into operation 10 years ago,” said Beate Myking, Director of Operations in New Energy Solutions at Equinor.

“The fact that the turbine will continue to be used for innovation is also valuable for Equinor. Floating offshore wind will be a significant source of energy in the future and we will also test this in full-scale at our floating offshore wind farm in Scotland.”

Equinor, at that time Statoil, invested in the research, development, construction and installation of the Hywind Demo turbine 10km off the western coast of Norway in 2009. The turbine was set into operation the year later.

Photo: Source: Unitech