Norwegian oil company Statoil is targeting Japan and the U.S. states of California and Hawaii to expand its floating offshore wind turbine business, the head of its New Energy Solutions business told Reuters.
Statoil will later this year open the world's first floating wind turbine park off the coast of Scotland, a technology that allows wind energy to be harnessed further out at sea where wind speeds are typically higher.
Statoil's floating wind turbines are anchored in place, unlike other offshore turbines which need to be tethered to a permanent foundation on the seabed that is more expensive to build in deep areas.
"We're looking to see if there's floating wind opportunities in California and Hawaii ... Japan is also a prime market for floating offshore wind," said Irene Rummelhoff, executive vice president of Statoil's New Energy Solutions business which deals with the company's non-oil and gas activities.
She was speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of an industry conference in London.
The turbines for Statoil's Hywind floating wind park off Scotland will be installed this summer and will be fully operational by the end of the year.
Rummelhoff said floating wind farms use the same turbine technology as traditional wind farms, meaning projects could make use of the existing wind power supply chain.
The technology also opened up new markets to wind power where traditional plants are difficult to build due to deep seas, she said.
(Reporting by Karolin Schaps; Editing by Edmund Blair)