This concept has never been tried before. Now we’re building it—with a little help from our friends.
Øyvind Lestad, Enova. Ørjan Rist, Equinor. Astrid Morken, Aker Solutions. All photos: Ole Jørgen Bratland, Equinor
About Hywind Tampen
- 11 wind turbines – the world’s largest floating wind farm
- Total capacity of 88MW. Will provide about 35% of the annual power required by the five platforms Snorre A and B and Gullfaks A, B and C. The project will give CO2-reductions of 200,000 tons CO2 annually.
- Enova has granted the project 2.3 billion NOK in financial support
- The wind farm is set to be a test environment for further development of offshore floating wind with testing of new and bigger wind turbines, new installation methods, simplified mooring, concrete constructions and integration of power systems for both gas and wind.
“To lift big things, you have to lift together“
Ørjan, Astrid and Øyvind from Equinor, Aker Solutions and Enova explain how the Norwegian offshore industry is cooperating to shape the floating wind industry and low-carbon society of the future. (In Norwegian, with English subtitles)
Maturing a technology and establishing a whole new market is quite a task. Still, if there’s one thing that the Norwegian continental shelf has taught Equinor, it’s that everything is possible if you work towards a common goal. As head of New Energy Solutions in Equinor, Pål Eitrheim says, “to lift big things, we need to lift together“. Video: Ole Jørgen Bratland, Equinor
“If we manage to crack the code, the possibilities are endless. Then we could place wind turbines all over the world,” says Ørjan Rist.
A giant leap into a new market
“If we manage to crack the code, the possibilities are endless,” says project manager Ørjan Rist in Equinor. “Then we could place wind turbines such as these all over the world,” he says.
“This is going to be a real leap forward into new markets, and our goal is to create a new industry in the low carbon economy,” says Øyvind Lestad, of Enova.
Enova is a Norwegian government enterprise responsible for environmentally-friendly production and use of energy—and it’s thanks to Enova that Hywind Tampen has begun its journey from drawing board to reality.
“This is one of the answers to a global challenge,” says Lestad. “Moving into a low carbon reality we need to explore new ways of securing jobs, welfare and expertise. That’s why Enova look upon Hywind Tampen as an opportunity to work towards as greater goal.”
The support from the Norwegian government is crucial, and it comes with a very clear set of expectations: that the project should mobilise the energy and supplier industry to create new business opportunities.
The financial support to Hywind Tampen is a large chunk of Enova’s budget, but Lestad is confident it will pay off. Not necessarily in real cash returns in the national budget in the short term, but in a longer term, socio-economic and climate perspective.
“This is a sound investment for the Norwegian state, and it carries the technology further. We are doing this because it will be a stepping-stone out in the world for the technology, Equinor and the suppliers,” he says.
The future is afloat
To give some idea of the potential of floating offshore wind, The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that floating wind power could provide as much as 18 times the world’s needs for power.
The EU commission also recognises the potential and propose in one of their scenarios that one third of the electricity needed in Europe will come from floating wind by 2050.
However, until now, the challenge with offshore wind power has been the expense. But costs are coming down.
“We’re moving from something that is exciting in a pure technological sense to something that is exciting on an industrial scale. A little bit bigger, a little bit better and less expensive every time,” says Øyvind Lestad.
With a little help from our friends
“We can’t do this alone,” says Ørjan Rist. “We have to work together with our licence partners, the suppliers, the part of Equinor that runs the fields, in addition to all the public stakeholders and neighbours who will have this up close and personal in the shape of jobs and construction activity.”
Although Equinor and Aker Solutions have worked together for decades, this time around is a little different. They are constructing the foundations for more than a single project.
“We need to succeed to continue to be relevant and to be a part of the solutions for the future. We are laying the groundwork for a whole new market,” says Astrid Morken in Aker Solutions, the engineering company who will provide the concrete foundations and the mooring system, as well as the marine operations.
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