Renewables

Norway’s Equinor unveils world’s biggest floating offshore wind farm

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Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland / © Equinor

Published

August 24, 2023

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Published:

August 24, 2023

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Norway’s Equinor has officially opened the largest floating offshore wind farm in the world, following a five-year project whose estimated cost is NOK 7.4 billion, or about EUR 638 million. Hywind Tampen will also be the world’s first offshore wind farm to supply electricity to oil and gas fields, reducing their CO2 emissions, according to an announcement from the Norwegian company.

Floating offshore wind farm Hywind Tampen, with a capacity of 88 MW, is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 200,000 tons annually from key oil and gas producers in the North Sea, according to the statement. It will power a total of five platforms at the Snorre and Gullfaks fields.

Hywind Tampen began producing electricity in the third quarter of 2022, but has now become fully operational. It is expected to cover about 35% of the annual electricity needs on the five platforms – Snorre A and B and Gullfaks A, B and C, the company said.

The floating wind farm was built 140 kilometers from the shore

The wind farm is located about 140 kilometers from the shore, with the water depth of between 260 and 300 meters. It consists of 11 wind turbines based on the floating Hywind concept, developed by Equinor. The turbines are mounted on floating concrete structures with a common anchoring system.

Siri Kindem, head of Equinor’s renewables business in Norway, said that the company would use the experience and learning from this project to become even better. “We will build bigger, reduce costs and build a new industry on the shoulders of the oil and gas industry,” she said.

Equinor also built the world’s first floating offshore wind farm, Hywind Scotland

The project was supported by state-run fund Enova and the Norwegian business sector’s NOx fund with NOK 2.3 billion (EUR 200 million) and NOK 566 million (EUR 48.9 million) respectively to support offshore wind technologies and emissions reduction.

The Norwegian government aims to award areas equivalent to 30 GW of offshore wind by 2040, Equinor said.

Hywind Tampen is the first offshore wind farm in Norway, which demonstrates the opportunities for renewable power production on the Norwegian continental shelf, according to the company.

Although the cost of the project was higher than originally planned, NOK 7.4 billion compared to NOK 5 billion, Equinox said that it was still more cost-effective than its Hywind Scotland floating offshore wind farm, which was the world’s first floating offshore wind farm. The investment cost for Hywind Tampen is about 35% lower per installed MW, it said.

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