StatoilHydro has confirmed reports that it is planning to build the world’s first full-scale floating offshore wind turbine at a cost of $80m.

The rotor blades on the 2.3MW wind turbine will have a diameter of 80m, while the nacelle will tower some 65m above the sea. The flotation element, on the other hand, will have a draft around 100m below the sea and be moored to the seabed using three anchor points.

The turbine will be built by Siemens, while Technip will build the flotation element and be responsible for the offshore installation.

The constituent parts will be assembled in Åmøyfjorden near Stavanger and eventually located some 10km offshore from Karmøy in the county of Rogaland.

A three metre high model of the device has already been tested successfully in SINTEF Marintek’s wave simulator in Trondheim and the full-scale turbine should begin operating in the autumn of 2009.