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This can be a starting point for Norway's new industrial chapter

Hywind Tampen will be the world's largest floating offshore wind farm. It will reduce the annual CO₂ emissions from Snorre and Gullfaks by 200,000 tonnes – and will be the first to supply platforms in the North Sea with renewable power.

At the Dommersnes industrial area in Vindafjord, Rogaland, there has recently been hectic construction activity to cast "11little trolls".

These trolls are made of concrete and are not littleat all – they are 107-meter-high foundations for the 11 massive wind turbines. Together, they will form the Hywind Tampen wind farm.

The nickname 'troll' originates from the giant Troll platforms built in the 90s, which have a central role in Norway's gas history.

Wind turbine foundations at Dommersnes industrial area in Vindafjord, Rogaland.
These wind turbine foundations, nicknamed "11 little trolls", will be part of the Hywind Tampen wind farm. Here seen at the Dommersnes industrial area in Vindafjord, Rogaland.
Photo: Einar Aslaksen

"The construction method we use here, slip casting, is the same used on the Troll platforms. Hopefully, these little trolls can become as crucial for offshore wind development as Troll has been for oil and gas. This is very exciting for us to be part of," says Roar Vigre, Technology Manager at ØlenBetong. The company is responsible for producing and delivering ready-mixed concrete for construction.

Cooperation is essential

The foundations' first 20 meters were cast in the dock at Aker Solutions in Stord before being dragged to Dommersnes. They have grown here from 20 to 107 metres before the trip to Wergeland Base in Gulen. Here, towers, turbine housings and blades are put into place by Mammoet. To get the job done, they have, among other things, the largest crane that has ever been on land in Norway – and one of the largest in the world. However, it is not their first high and heavy lift.

Photo: Einar Aslaksen

"Our long experience in oil and gas comes in very handy when lifting and transportingcomponents that large. We also have the equipment needed to do the job," says the Project Manager at Mammoet, Mari Krøke, and adds:

"Offshore wind is anexciting market to enter. We will contribute to the success of the project so that there will be more of them."

When fully assembled, the wind turbines will be dragged 140 kilometres out into the North Sea.Oil and gas platforms have produced energy here for over 50 years – and this project may be the start of a new industrial chapter, thanks to the collaboration between several partners, over 50 years of maritime operations experience and large oil and gas projects.

"For several years, the oil and gas sector and the suppliers have shown the ability to attract the best expertise – and to continuously push the boundaries of what is possible to achieve in the turbulent Norwegian waters. This expertise is extremely valuablewhen utilising more parts of the area. We will continue with industrial energy production, but now with renewable resources," says Marit Sandbakk, Senior Advisor at Enova.

They have allocated NOK 2.3 billion in support of the Hywind Tampen project and are thus also a central partner in the project.

About Hywind Tampen

  • With its 11 wind turbines, Hywind Tampen is the world's largest floating offshore wind farm.
  • It has a system capacity of 88 MW.
  • It is supported by Enova with NOK 2.3 billion.
  • The partners on the project are Petoro, OMV, VårEnergi, WintershallDea andINPEX Idemitsu.
  • It is also a test environment for further offshore wind development – testing new and larger turbines, installation methods, simplified anchoring, concrete structures and integration between gas and offshore wind power generation systems.

New industry with enormous potential

Hywind Tampen will be the world's largest floating offshore wind farm when completed. The offshore wind farm will also be the first to supply oil and gas platforms with electricity: It will be able to cover around 35 per cent of the annual electrical power demand on the five platforms Snorre A and B and Gullfaks A, B and C.

But Hywind Tampen is not only important because of the significant emission reduction it will bring to Snorre and Gullfaks.

The project also serves as a test environment for further offshore wind development. Apart from being an essential step toindustrialise solutions, it will also help to reduce costs related to future floating offshore wind projects.

"Increased renewable power production will be a pillar of the future economy – and it is vital if we are toreduce Norwegian and global greenhouse gas emissions. Floating offshore wind is an energy resource with enormous potential if it eventually becomes competitive with other energy sources," says Sandbakk in Enova.

"This project is fundamental to gain experience with such energy production. In other words, Hywind Tampen can become critical in transitioning to a low-emission society. Not only for Norway but internationally," she emphasises.

Although Hywind Tampen is a pioneering project, the concept has already been well tested outside the Norwegian coast and in Scotland. Hywind Scotland, with its five turbines, is the world's first floating wind farm and has been operating since 2017. With a system capacity of 88 MW, Hywind Tampen will be almost three times the size of Hywind Scotland. The rapid development in turbine sizes and efficiency makes the large scale possible.

About the Hywind concept

  • Hywind is Equinor's floating wind turbine concept.
  • Thanks to its unique construction with ballast in the keel, it can float vertically in the water, much like a lateral buoy.
  • Hywind has been thoroughly tested both off the Norwegian coast and in Hywind Scotland, the world's first floating wind farm, which began production in 2018. Hywind Tampen will be twice the size of Hywind Scotland.

Ambition to lead

For over 20 years, Equinor has been a driving force behind the development of floating offshore wind. It is all about developing and testing technology, proving that floating offshore wind works. To succeed, large-scale and predictable access to many projects is essential. This way, floating offshore wind can contribute to securing vital green energy.

That a resourceful industry such as the oil and gas industry actively participates with its expertise and capital – alongside other players from land-based power generation and the Norwegian supplier industry – gives hope of rapid steps toward a commercially mature technology.

Marit SandbakkSenior Advisor at Enova

However, establishing an entirely new market and maturing technology is demanding. If there is one thing that the development of the Norwegian continental shelf has shown Equinor, it is that anything is possible if you work together towards a common goal.

Cooperation is also something that Enova highlights as crucial for the success of the low-emission society.

"Public actors, suppliers and interest groups can all contribute to ensuring that the projects the industry is developing are sustainable. Not just for the developers, but for society and nature," says Sandbakk.

This is one of many stories from our first 50 years. It is also part of the story of how we will succeed with the energy transition.

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