January 9 (Renewables Now) - Equinor ASA (NYSE:EQNR), formerly Statoil, has agreed to pass the ownership of the 2.3-MW Hywind Demo floating turbine off the west coast of Norway to subsea connector manufacturer Unitech Offshore.
The single-turbine facility outside Karmoy was installed by Equinor in 2009 to test the use of floating foundations that are ballast-stabilised and anchored to the seabed with mooring cables. Following its sale to Unitech, the turbine will be used as infrastructure for research and development (R&D) projects related to new technology and for teaching and training purposes. Its name will be also changed to Unitech Zefyros by Hywind Technology as of February 1, 2019.
“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,” said Unitech CEO Gunnar Birkeland.
The new owner of the turbine plans to use it as a hub for connecting new turbines, for various R&D initiatives and for testing and qualification of new technologies. The facility will continue to deliver power to around 400 homes per year for an additional 10 years.
In cooperation with Masdar of Abu Dhabi, Equinor in October 2017 opened the world's first commercial-scale floating wind farm off Aberdeenshire in Scotland. The Hywind Scotland Pilot Park has a capacity of 30 MW.