Nekkar ASA (Nekkar) has been awarded a NOK 21 million grant from
Innovation Norway to progress with the development of a disruptive installation
technology that could significantly reduce the cost and environmental footprint
associated with wind turbine installations.
The solution - called SkyWalker - uses active heave compensation derived from
offshore lifting systems combined with digital solutions that allow for
remote-controlled and automated solutions.
"Our calculations show that SkyWalker can significantly reduce time, cost, and
the environmental footprint associated with the installation of wind turbines,"
says Preben Liltved, CEO of Oslo-listed Nekkar.
Nekkar is working together with an undisclosed major wind turbine original
equipment manufacturer (OEM) and Fred Olsen Renewables, in combination with
support from academia, to develop the SkyWalker.
The design and technology of SkyWalker enable a controlled lift that can operate
heavier loads and reach larger heights than current crane solutions. In
addition, SkyWalker reduces the environmental impact of installing wind turbines
by considerably reducing the footprint in nature and CO2 emissions from
transportation. SkyWalker is being developed as a zero emissions system.
"SkyWalker is a great example of how we leverage on our strong legacy within oil
and gas to create disruptive solutions for sustainable industries. The
cooperation with the wind turbine OEM and Fred Olsen Renewables ensures that the
development work is fully aligned with the value chain requirements of the wind
power industry," says Mette Harv, head of the Renewables business area in
Over time the levelized cost of energy produced by wind turbines has been
reduced to a level where wind turbines today are compatible with any other
source of energy. The main driver of this cost reduction is the constant
increase in wind turbine size and consequent power output. There seems still to
be a lot of potential in building ever bigger wind turbines. Now, however, the
traditional crane technologies will not allow for much bigger onshore wind
"SkyWalker is smaller and requires much less space than other installation
solutions such as mobile cranes, meaning that the environmental footprint on
terrain is equally reduced. This is, for us, especially important for onshore
wind development on hilly sites in Scandinavia. It is also important for us to
create local activity in relation with our wind development projects, which is
why we initiated the collaboration and have engaged with the Skywalker project,"
says Gaute Tjensvoll, business developer at Fred. Olsen Renewables.
Another objective of the SkyWalker is to enable installation of wind turbines at
locations where it currently is not practically or financially viable to develop
wind farms. The technology also allows installation in stronger winds than today
and will decrease the total installation time for the wind farm owners.
Later versions of the SkyWalker technology can be applied to the installation of
both bottom-fixed and floating offshore wind turbines, without having to make
adaptations to the turbines.
"We firmly believe that SkyWalker has the potential to become a game-changer for
the global wind industry. We are thankful that Innovation Norway and our
collaboration partners share this view," adds Mette Harv.
The foundation of Nekkar's business is world-class engineering, electrification,
automation, and digitalisation competence and heritage from the drilling
industry in Kristiansand which is the DNA in the company's digital solutions
business area. Nekkar aims to apply this competence as levers to develop
disruptive technologies that can make high-growth industry sectors - such as
renewable energy - even more sustainable, productive, and profitable.