Royal Dutch Shell to build a floating wind project off the Norwegian coast

Royal Dutch Shell will take a majority stake with renewable energy developers to build an USD $20.4 million floating wind project off the coast of Norway by next year, in hopes to prove that the cost of floating wind projects could fall significantly using innovating approaches.

Shell has increased its share of the project from an initial one third stake to almost two thirds, alongside German renewables company Innogy and Denmark's Stiesdal Offshore Technologies. The project company plans to test the new wind power technology six miles off the Norwegian coast by 2020.

A single 3.2MW turbine will be secured to a tubular steel framework suspended almost 200 feet beneath the sea surface, before they are towed to the test site in the northern part of the North Sea. Once in place the framework will be moored to the seabed with three anchor lines and connected to the electrical grid.

James Cotter, Shell’s project manager, said the project could offer “important competitive advantages” over existing floating wind projects due to leaner manufacturing, assembly and lower cost installation and “sees great promise in floating wind technologies” to help expand its renewable power business. Mr. Cotter said he believes it could “change the face of the offshore wind industry over the next decade.”