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British grid drawing power from new offshore wind farm

Statoil powers up its first wind turbine at the offshore Dudgeon facility.

By Daniel J. Graeber
British grid drawing power from new offshore wind farm
British grid drawing power from an offshore wind farm operated by Norwegian energy major Statoil. Photo courtesy of Roar Lindefjeld/Woldcam/Statoil

Feb. 9 (UPI) -- While only a fraction of the total capacity is realized, Norwegian energy company Statoil said the British grid is getting power from its latest wind farm.

Statoil announced its first wind turbine from the Dudgeon facility off the British coast was now providing electricity to the nation's grid. Up to 6,000 homes are now getting power from offshore wind. Once in full operation later this year, the entire Dudgeon wind farm will have the capacity to provide power for more than 400,000 average households.

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"This is a significant milestone for one of the largest offshore wind farms in Europe," Margareth Ovrum, Statoil's executive vice president for technology, said in a statement.

The first wind turbine at Dudgeon was installed in January. In total, 67 wind turbines will be placed offshore in the $1.9 billion investment that Statoil said is part of its strategy to diversify its portfolio with low-carbon options.

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Statoil last year signed a letter of intent with state-owned renewable energy company Statkraft to take over as the operator of the Sheringham Shoal wind farm off the British coast, which is already in operation.

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Working since 2012, Sheringham Shoal is one of the largest offshore wind farms in service in the world with its capacity to provide enough power to meet the annual demands of nearly a quarter million average households.

Statoil already counts several projects in its renewable energy portfolio. The company in early 2016 unveiled an energy-storage project dubbed Batwind at its Hywind floating offshore wind farm. Through a memorandum of understanding signed with the Scottish government, the company aims to install a Lithium battery storage system within two years.

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"Building a profitable renewable portfolio on the foundation of 40 years of oil and gas experience is a competitive advantage," Stephen Bull, Statoil's senior vice president for offshore wind, said.

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