After a thorough investigation process, Sunndalsøra in Møre og Romsdal County stands out as the best alternative, the company said in a statement,

The construction of a pilot facility of up to 2MW has long been planned as the next step in the development of osmotic power. The prototype facility was opened in Tofte, Hurum, in November 2009, and is used for testing components, processes and membranes.

The Sunndalsøra facility is planned for an industrial area already regulated for that purpose, and where Statkraft owns property. Freshwater for the pilot facility can be collected from the outlet tunnel from the Aura power plant, while sea water can be pumped from a depth of 40m further out in the fjord. Any plans will be prepared in close cooperation with the municipality and other local stakeholders.

With Sunndalsøra selected as a location, it means in practice that Statkraft will assess the impact of such a facility and subsequently prepare a license application. The license is just one of several elements that must be in place before a possible investment decision is made towards the end of 2013.

Earlier this year, Statkraft announced it had entered into a three-year agreement with Hydro-Québec of Canada in a move to speed up development of osmotic power.