STAVANGER, Norway, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- Norwegian energy giant StatoilHydro inaugurated its first full-scale floating wind turbine in a pilot project in the North Sea.
Margareth Ovrum, executive vice president for technology and new energy at StatoilHydro, said the inauguration of the pilot facility was part of a broader long-term plan to meet the world's demand for energy.
StatoilHydro invested more than $57 million in the project, while Norway's green-energy company Enova contributed another $9.9 million.
Hywind, the pilot facility, employs a 2.3-megawatt wind turbine installed on top of a floater typically used for offshore production platforms.
Denmark's Siemens Wind Power company manufactured the turbine, which boasts a rotor diameter of 262 feet.
In June, Hywind was towed more than 6 miles off the coast of Karmoy island for a two-year test period.
Ovrum said that while full-scale commercialization of wind energy farms was a long way off, the test period would be beneficial toward that aim.
"Our goal with the Hywind pilot is to test how wind and waves affect the structure, learn how the operating concept can be optimized and identify technology gaps," she said.