Enova pledges NOK 137 million to innovative offshore wind turbine from Sway

14 Feb, 2010

Enova will provide the Bergen-based company Sway AS with funding in the amount of NOK 137 million to demonstrate a new wind turbine prototype. The project represents a significant potential reduction in the cost of generating offshore wind power. Enova's commitment to renewable marine energy will make this project possible

The funding from Enova will contribute to the construction of a 10 MW wind turbine in Øygarden in Hordaland County, where the new technology will be tested on land over the next two years. The wind turbine will be the world's largest of its kind, with a rotor diameter of 145 metres. In cooperation with the Norwegian technology firm Smartmotor AS, Sway has developed the concept with a view towards reducing turbine weight and the number of moving parts, as well as the use of a gearless generator system. Overall, the concept will result in higher energy generation for offshore wind power, and thus also lower operating costs. As many as 35-40 engineers have taken part in the work to develop the concept that will now undergo testing.

"Enova is dedicated to helping promote projects that can bring us closer to achieving the goal of commercial generation of offshore wind power. We regard this specific project as being very exciting. It represents a considerable ramping up of current technology, in which diverse Norwegian expert communities have cooperated to develop a totally new wind turbine design," says Nils Kristian Nakstad, Enova's executive director.

Funding for the project has been provided under Enova's support program Renewable marine power generation, launched in February 2009.

"There are many smart concepts aimed at exploiting the renewable energy potential along the coast and offshore. The goal of the program is to demonstrate and introduce innovative new energy solutions to the market by showcasing projects which can help qualify the technology in the form of energy results and operational experience," says Nils Kristian Nakstad. In 2009, funding was provided for two tidal power projects under this program.

"Enova's support can help bring Norwegian technology to the global forefront when it comes to wind turbines that float or rest on the seabed," says a very pleased Eystein Borgen, managing director and founder of SWAY, who continues: "The funding will enable us to maintain the necessary rapid progression, as well as lay the foundation for total project financing. This is a huge inspiration for everyone involved in the project," he adds.

For more information, contact:
Kjell Olav Skjølsvik, head of New Technology unit, Enova SF, mobile +47 48 04 04 79

Michal Forland, director of finance, Sway, mobile +47 93 41 44 07