Norway Approves Funding for Floating Wind Farm at North Sea Oil Fields

Illustration courtesy Equinor

Norwegian government-run Enova has approved funding of up to NOK 2.3 billion (US$256 million) to support a project that would develop the world’s first floating offshore wind farm to power offshore oil and gas installations in the northern North Sea. 

The Hywind Tampen project proposes supplying electricity from a floating offshore wind farm to the Equinor-operated Gullfaks and Snorre fields. By tapping renewable energy resources, it is estimated that CO2 emissions would be reduced by more than 200,000 tonnes per year, equivalent to emissions from 100,000 private cars.

The offshore wind farm will consist of 11 floating wind turbines with a total capacity of 88 MW, enough to meet around 35% of the annual electricity needed fo the five existing oil and gas platforms at the Gullfaks and Snorre fields. During periods of high winds, the percentage could even be much higher.

Illustration courtesy Equinor

“The support that the licences have received for the Hywind Tampen project demonstrates the will of Norwegian authorities to invest in and develop floating offshore wind farms and renewable energy supplies. With this support we have taken an important step forward in realising the project. Now it is up to the licences to further mature the project towards a final investment decision this autumn,” says Pål Eitrheim, executive vice president for New Energy Solutions in Equinor.

Earlier, the Business Sector’s NOx Fund decided to support the Hywind Tampen project by an investment grant of up to NOK 566 million.

“The Hywind Tampen project will contribute to further developing floating offshore wind technology and reducing the costs of future floating offshore wind farms, offering new industrial opportunities for Norway, the licences and Norwegian supplier industry in a growing global offshore wind market,” says Olav-Bernt Haga, project director for Hywind Tampen.

The seven partners in the Snorre and Gullfaks licences will potentially to make an investment decision for the Hywind Tampen project this fall.

Parnters in the Gullfaks license include Equinor Energy AS (51%), Petoro AS (30%), and OMV (Norge) AS (19%). Snorre license partners include Equinor Energy AS (33.3%), Petoro AS (30%), ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Norway AS (17.5%), Idemitsu Petroleum Norge AS (9.6%), DEA Norge AS (8.6%), and Vår Energi AS (1.1%)