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Offshore floating wind to power Norwegian oil and gas platforms

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The world’s largest floating offshore wind farm, and the first to power offshore oil and gas platforms, will be built by Siemens Gamesa for deployment off the coast of Norway.

The company has been awarded five contracts by Norwegian energy company Equinor to supply wind turbines to the Hywind Tampen wind farm.

The wind farm, which will be located 140 km from the shore of Norway in water depths of nearly 300m, will comprise 11 Siemens Gamesa turbines and have a total generating capacity of 88 MW. It is scheduled to be commissioned in autumn 2022.

Mooring lines will be used to anchor the ballast-stabilised floating foundations of the wind turbines to the seafloor. They will be located between the Snorre and Gullfaks oil and gas platforms, and will be capable of meeting 35% of the platforms’ annual power demand. By reducing the use of gas turbines on the fields, the project will help to cut carbon dioxide emissions by more than 200,000 tonnes per year.

Hywind Tampen will overtake the 30 MW Hywind Scotland floating wind power plant, currently the world’s largest and installed at water depths around 100 m some 29 km off Peterhead. Hywind Scotland has the highest capacity factor of any offshore wind farm in the UK, says Siemens. The Hywind Tampen project will continue the journey towards industrial-scale floating wind.

‘The signing of five major contracts is a key milestone in realising the Hywind Tampen pioneer project,’ said Anders Opedal, Equinor’s Executive Vice President for Technology, Projects and Drilling. ‘Won in international competition, the contracts prove that the oil and gas industry is also competitive for renewables projects. The awarded contracts will generate considerable spin-offs in Norway.’

Offshore wind already has a strong foothold in Europe with close to 18.5 GW installed capacity, and the potential to reach more than 100 GW globally by 2030. Of this, floating offshore wind could constitute 10% of the total, adds Siemens.

Photo: Siemens Gamesa

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