SeaTwirl, a Swedish manufacturer of wind turbines, was granted permission to test its floating, vertical-axis wind turbine prototype with a 1 MW capacity in Norway. However, the project was later stalled due to objections from four organizations, including environmental and fishing groups. The approved pilot program, in collaboration with the Norwegian offshore wind test center Marine Energy Test Centre, was set to take place over five years at a former fish farm located 700 meters off the coast of Boknafjorden.
The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate’s recent rejection of an appeal has paved the way for SeaTwirl’s S2X pilot to move forward without any more objections. The CEO, Peter Laurits, celebrated the news by highlighting the company’s focus on bringing large SX turbines to floating wind farms and how the decision provides them with the flexibility to plan the installation of S2X in the most effective manner possible.
SeaTwirl touts the benefits of its vertical-axis floating turbines, including their simple design and low center of gravity. These features allow for easy accessibility to all moving parts and electrical systems near the water’s surface, resulting in reduced maintenance costs. The company also notes that multiple S2Xs can be installed in a compact configuration for increased energy output.
The S2X prototype by SeaTwirl features a 50-meter diameter rotor with a blade height of 40 meters, located 55 meters above and 80 meters below sea level. Its optimal operating depth is 100 meters or deeper. The Norwegian coast is also the testing ground for other vertical-axis wind turbines, including one made of aluminum by aluminum giant Hydro and floating wind specialist World Wide Wind, which was announced recently.