Several large companies around the world are working on their designs of floating wind turbines. Creating such an installation would be a big step toward harvesting the clean energy of the planet’s most powerful winds – those blowing over the seas and oceans. One such turbine, dubbed Hywind, with an installed capacity of 2.3 megawatts and a rotor diameter of 82.4 meters – a pilot project by Statoil – was in 2009 anchored in the North Sea 10 kilometers southwest of the Norwegian municipality Karmøy. In its first full year of operation, Hywind generated 7.3 gigawatts of electricity – against the anticipated 3.5 gigawatts. The floating turbine has also demonstrated great resistance to adverse weather conditions: It withstands waves of up to 11 meters, and the vibratory loads are lower than those affecting ground-based turbines. Above: The world’s first operational megawatt-class floating wind turbine after assembly in the Åmøy Fjord near Stavanger. (Source: Lars Christopher/ )