Norway unveils world’s biggest offshore wind farm on floating platform

A general view of the offshore wind farm Hywind Tampen, North Sea August 23, 2023. NTB/Ole Berg-Rusten via REUTERS
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Norway has unveiled the world’s largest floating offshore wind farm, which will provide power to oil and gas fields in the North Sea. The Hywind Tampen wind farm consists of 11 turbines with a combined output of 88 megawatts, enough to meet 35% of the electricity needs of the Gullfaks and Snorre fields. This project marks a significant milestone for floating offshore wind farms, as the technology allows for development in deeper waters where wind conditions are more favorable. Currently, only about 120 megawatts of floating offshore wind power are operational worldwide. The turbines will be installed on floating concrete beams with a common anchoring system, in water depths of 260 to 300 meters.

The Hywind Tampen wind farm is expected to reduce CO2 emissions from major oil and gas producers in the North Sea by 200,000 tonnes per year. The power generated by the wind farm will supplement energy on five platforms, managed from Equinor’s offices in Bergen. Despite facing increased costs and delays due to COVID-related factors, the project has shown significant cost improvements compared to the world’s first floating offshore wind farm, Hywind Scotland. Enova and the Norwegian corporate sector’s NoX fund have provided financial support for technology development and emissions reduction in offshore wind power.

This achievement represents a new phase in Norway’s renewable energy industry, leveraging the experiences and insights gained from the project to further advance the development of offshore wind farms. The successful implementation of the Hywind Tampen wind farm demonstrates the potential of floating offshore wind technology and its ability to contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions in the oil and gas sector.

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