The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has approved Norway’s state aid to the 88MW Hywind Tampen floating offshore wind project in the Norwegian North Sea.
"Norway's initiative to reduce CO2 emissions by building a floating offshore wind farm consisting of 11 wind turbines. The Hywind Tampen project is the highest individual aid award ever approved by ESA," said a statement.
“ESA finds that aid to the project is compatible with EEA State Aid rules that aim to promote environmental protection as the positive environmental benefits outweigh the negative effects on competition”, said ESA-president Bente Angell-Hansen.
The goal is to reduce emissions from oil and gas production and in other sectors and to pave the way for the development of floating wind farms as a competitive energy resource globally. The European Green Deal considers the increase in offshore wind power production essential for the clean energy transition.
Related: Equinor Makes FID for Hywind Tampen
Equinor and the Snorre and Gullfaks partners in October 2019 made a final investment decision (FID) for the Hywind Tampen offshore wind farm development.
The oil and gas platforms will be the first-ever powered by a floating offshore wind farm. The wind farm will be located some 140 kilometers from shore in 260-300 meters of water between the Snorre and Gullfaks platforms.
The Hywind Tampen project aims to cover a third of the total energy need of two oil and gas platforms with wind power instead of gas. It is the first medium-size floating offshore wind farm in Europe, and possibly in the world.
The world's first floating wind farm is the Hywind Scotland project, with 30MW installed capacity. Hywind Tampen will also be the first floating offshore wind farm supplying power to oil and gas platforms directly. In the future, the technology could be used for floating offshore wind parks providing renewable energy to the grid.
Norway, through the state enterprise Enova, has decided to grant NOK 2.3 billion to Equinor and its partners OMV, Petoro, Idemitsu, DEA and Vår Energi to realize the Hywind Tampen project, which covers around 43 percent of the project's investment costs.