The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE) has tasked the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) with conducting surveys in connection with awarding acreage for offshore wind.
The NPD has been given the assignment to plan and implement a tendering process for preliminary surveys in the areas of Sørlige Nordsjø II and Utsira Nord, which were opened for applications for renewable energy generation about 18 months ago.
These surveys will gather basic seismic, bathymetry, and water column data. The Government is proposing an additional appropriation of NOK 65 million (around $6.6 million) for the NPD over the revised national budget (RNB) for this assignment.
"The procurement process is already underway. The plan is for the surveys to start as early as this summer," NPD said.
"The MPE is working to establish a framework for awarding acreage for offshore wind projects. The licensing process will ensure that the players that are awarded acreage will conduct a project-specific impact assessment once they have been given exclusive rights to the acreage," the NPD said.
According to the NPD, the companies are expected to spend one to two years studying the impacts of the projects. The results from the NPD's mapping will be included in the basis for the impact assessments.
"We're very familiar with the geology on the Norwegian shelf and have extensive experience in collecting geophysical data. We're looking forward to embarking on this assignment," says Torgeir Stordal, the NPD's Director for Technology, Analysis and Coexistence.
Worth noting, Norway earlier this week revealed plans for a major expansion in offshore wind energy setting a target to develop 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind capacity by 2040. There are no commercial offshore wind farms deployed in Norway currently.
Equinor is working to deploy the 88MW Hywind Tampen floating wind farm, but electricity from these turbines will be used to power Equinor's oil and gas platforms in the North Sea.