Energy giant Shell has bought a majority stake in a floating wind project planned for 2020.
Originally investing 33% in the ‘TetraSpar’ floating foundation demonstrator turbine last year, Shell will now own 66% of the project.
The development project is a partnership between Shell, Innogy and Stiesdal Offshore Technologies (SOT).
It has a project budget of almost £16 million.
The demonstrator will also utilise a Siemens Gamesa 3.6 megawatt (MW) direct drive turbine.
Testing is due to begin in 2020 at the Marine Energy Test Centre (Metcentre) near Stavanger in Norway.
James Cotter, project manager at Shell, said: “Shell is working to grow our renewable power business and sees great promise in floating wind technologies that could change the face of the offshore wind industry over the next decade.
“We want to help accelerate this change by sharing our offshore expertise with our partners in order to progress innovative solutions such as TetraSpar.”
While Shell has increased its share in the project from 33% to 66%, Innogy retains 33% in the newly founded project company and SOT – who has divested its original 33% stake – is contributing to the project with its modular TetraSpar concept and holds the remaining 1% share.
Martin Ferreira, head of Offshore Investment and Asset Management at Innogy SE, said: “[We are] seeking offshore growth opportunities worldwide and we are confident that floating wind is going to be an important growth market in the future.
“This demonstration project lays the foundation for this by giving us a better understanding of both the technical insights and how the cost of floating wind can be driven down.”
The foundation structure, including the turbine, will be towed to the test site in the northern part of the North Sea before being moored to the seabed with three anchor lines and connected to the electrical grid.
Henrik Stiesdal, CEO of Stiesdal Offshore Technologies A/S, said: “Reaching the final investment decision on the deployment and test of our first full-scale demonstration project is a very important milestone for us.
“We have already benefited greatly from the dialogue with Shell, innogy and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy during the project planning, and we look forward to further enhance the dialogue during the project execution.”