Norway’s energy giant Statoil is to set up a 2.3MW floating wind turbine off Norway’s coastal area in a bid to move wind farms away from rural areas.

Hywind, the floating wind turbine, is built by engineering giant Siemens AG and integrates technologies from the wind farming industry and the oil and gas sectors, Siemens said.

The floating wind turbine will be tested off the Norwegian coast for two years.

Statoil spokesperson Alexandra Beck Gjorv said: “Hywind will help move offshore wind farms out of sight and push offshore wind farms away from areas where they cause disturbances.”

According to Gjorv, the cost associated with floating turbines is less than that of offshore wind farms.

Floating wind farms can act as an alternative source of energy for countries that do not have sufficient space for onshore wind farms. These wind farms will also be helpful in those areas where there is not enough wind on land, said Gjorv.

The company may later set up floating wind farms off the coasts of North America, the Iberian Peninsula, Norway and the UK.

The turbines are also designed to help military radar operations, the shipping industry, fisheries, bird life and tourism.