Storm sends model wind turbine crashing into sea

The hurricane-like storm Berit, which brought destruction and tragedy to Norway at the weekend, has blown away a wind turbine.

The under-scale prototype of wind outfit Sway’s deepwater turbines is believed to lie on the seabed somewhere near its anchorage in Øygarden in south-west Norway. Oil company Statoil is a shareholder in Sway, a company with major deepwater ambitions for its brand of high-megawatt turbine.

Storms have proven a challenge for pedestal-mounted turbines offshore and land-based turbines, but Sway company boss Michal Forland said it was just the mismatch between storm strength and mock-up turbine size that sent the design destined to be an offshore floater to the bottom.

“It hasn't floated far. It has a safety mechanism that makes it lie down in the sea,” Forland was quoted by Aftenposten as saying.

The floating turbine is designed to overcome the public’s aversion to blighted views of the coast, what the industry calls the “Not in my backyard” effect. In the United Kingdom and Germany, the problem has been solved only by costly offshore installations onto seabed piles.

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