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Hywind—the world’s leading floating offshore wind solution

The ocean covers around 70% of the world’s surface and is an under-utilised resource for energy and economic growth. Close to 80% of the resource potential is in deep waters. That’s ideal for Hywind, the leading solution for floating offshore wind power, developed by Equinor.

A few years ago, floating offshore wind was a distant dream symbolised by a solitary small-scale Hywind turbine offshore Norway. Today, it is the most viable and mature solution, ready for market. With Hywind Scotland, the world’s first floating wind farm, we’re unlocking the vast potential of floating offshore wind. We believe it’s the next wave in renewable energy, and within the next decade, we aim to make floating wind a competitive renewable energy source.

Equinor is the global leader in floating offshore wind:

0 Hywind demo operation

We were an early pioneer in floating wind technologies. Today, Hywind is the most mature solution by far.

World’s 0 floating wind park

The world’s first floating offshore wind farm, Hywind Scotland, began production in October 2017.

0 British homes powered

Our offshore wind projects already provide renewable energy to thousands of families in the UK.

Hywind Scotland was officially opened by Nicola Sturgeon in October 2017.

Hywind is a great example of what we can achieve by combining our existing offshore expertise with new and available technologies and innovative minds. Thoroughly proven through years of testing, it is the world’s most viable floating wind turbine design, consisting of a giant wind turbine placed on top of a floating vertical spar.

Hywind is a unique offshore wind technology, consisting of a mix of available technology and new patents developed and owned by Equinor.

While dozens of floating concepts exist today, few will reach maturity. Hywind is the most established design, verified through eight years of successful operations of our demo turbine offshore Karmøy, Norway, and subsequently further optimised for the Hywind Scotland wind farm. With its simplicity of design, Hywind offers a range of advantages:  

  • Most proven technology
  • Conventional technology used in a new way
  • Simple substructure construction with potential for standardisation and lower fabrication cost
  • Benefical motion characteristics and a patented blade pitch control to dampen out motions
  • Robust and suitable for harsh conditions
  • Data and experience collected from 8 years of successful operation.

The future is afloat

Offshore wind farms eliminate many of the challenges associated with onshore wind, and hold the key to exploiting an inexhaustible resource. Now that floating wind technology is mature and costs have started to come down, we expect to see exponential growth in floating offshore wind worldwide. 

This map shows the vast potential of offshore wind worldwide

Floating wind holds the key to an inexhaustible resource potential, but until recently, development has been confined to the drawing board. Today, the technology has reached a tipping point in maturity, and we believe in a rapid acceleration in growth—just as we have witnessed in other wind and renewable technologies.

Offshore wind already has a strong foothold in Europe with close to 15 GW installed capacity, and global potential to reach more than 100 GW by 2030. Of this, floating offshore wind is estimated to constitute 10% of the market, potentially powering 12 million homes in 2030.

Even if floating wind is still some years behind the traditional fixed turbines, the potential is greater. With floating wind we can reach larger depths—further away from shore, which is ideal for Hywind. As much as 80% of the of the total potential for offshore wind power is believed to be in deep waters.  


Floating wind can be the next wave in renewable energy—and we’re uniquely positioned to play a major role in this industry. For us, offshore wind was a natural move, and an opportunity to capture the synergies we see between our renewables and oil and gas activities. 

No other company combines our decades of offshore experience with our project execution capabilities. No other company has come so far in bringing a viable concept to market. Now, our intention is to capitalise on these advantages when developing large-scale offshore wind farms, safely and efficiently. That’s why we’re so ambitious about this emerging industry. Our background and experience give us unique advantages in floating offshore wind.

Our ambitions for Hywind: 

To lead offshore floating wind to industrial scale by 2030.
To develop Hywind as the most cost-competitive concept.

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reduction in capital expenditure per MW by 2023 compared to Hywind Scotland  

0 EUR/MWh

levelised cost of energy by 2030 

Hywind Scotland

This year we’re making a giant leap forward as we start producing electricity from the world’s first floating wind farm. The 30 MW Hywind Scotland pilot park will demonstrate the feasibility of future commercial floating wind farms that could be ten times larger.

QUICK FACTS

  • The wind farm will power around 22,000 households.
  • The farm consists of five 6 MW turbines with a total installed capacity of 30 MW, and a transmission voltage of 33 kV.
  • The rotor diameter is 154 m and overall height is 253 m.
  • The pilot farm will cover around 4 square kilometres in water depths varying between 95—129 metres.
  • The average wind speed in this area of the North sea is around 10 metres per second, while the average wave height is 1.8 meters.
  • The export cable length to shore is 30 km.


     

Equinor and partner Masdar invested NOK 2 billion to realise Hywind Scotland, achieving a 60—70% cost reduction compared with the Hywind Demo project in Norway. Hywind Scotland started producing electricity in October2017.

Equinor and Masdar will continue Scotland’s innovation story through the integration of a storage solution, patented as BatWind.

This is how the wind turbines will be positioned in the water offshore Peterhead. They are anchored up with three suction anchors each, and linked together to send the electricity produced onshore

Our commitment to local communities

We aim to create lasting value for local communities through our business activities. Our contribution may include direct and indirect local employment, local procurement of goods and services, local infrastructure development and capacity-building as well as social investments. For Hywind, we aim to use local constructors and supply chain whenever possible.

Hywind Demo

In 2009, we installed the Hywind Demo offshore Karmøy, Norway. The demonstration unit has a 2.3 MW turbine, and the diameter of the blades is 85 meters. Through eight years of successful operations the demo has confirmed and verified the Hywind concept. 

2001
The idea

2009
The demo

2017
The world’s first floating
wind park 

Key facts for Hywind demo

  • Capacity factor of 50% in 2011
  • Produced more than 40 GWh since start-up
  • Experienced wind speed of 40 m/s and maximum wave height of 19 m
  • System integrity is verified
  • Analysis tools validated

Other offshore wind projects

wind farm off the Norfolk coastline
Wind project off the coast of Norfolk. UK

Our offshore wind portfolio currently provides renewable energy to 650,000 homes, increasing to 1 million homes when our Arkona windfarm in Germany opens in 2019. 

We are also part of the consortium for the massive Dogger Bank zone in the UK which will most likely be the world’s largest offshore wind project, if fully developed.

The wind farm has a potential generating capacity of up to 4.8 GW, which equates to almost five per cent of the UK’s projected electricity requirements. Furthermore, we have signed a commercial lease for renewable energy development in an area offshore New York, US, with potential to generate capacity of more than 1 GW.

Future projects


Substructure transfer Foto: Olaf Nagelhus Woldcam

Stord assembly Foto: Jonas Bostrøm / Statoil

Mating of the turbine Foto: Woldcam - Roar Lindefjeld

Completed and ready for transport Foto: Woldcom

Substructure transfer Foto: Olaf Nagelhus Woldcam

Stord assembly Foto: Jonas Bostrøm / Statoil

Mating of the turbine Foto: Woldcam - Roar Lindefjeld

Completed and ready for transport Foto: Woldcom

We are already working on the next large-scale Hywind project, and the next full-scale floating wind farm could be in a high potential market such as Ireland, France, West Coast USA or Japan. 

The Norwegian contintental shelf also has great potential. We are exploring the potential in our own oil and gas portfolio—using Hywind technology as a power source for oil and gas installations, to contribute to our ambition to develop lower carbon business opportunities for our core business.