The construction has started in Norway of what will be the world's largest floating wind farm - the Hywind Tampen.
Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Kværner apprentice Arne Linga officially kickstarted the construction work by starting the cutting robot on the project's first sheet of steel on Thursday, 1 October.
Kværner is responsible for the construction of 11 floating concrete hulls for the turbines on Hywind Tampen, a floating wind farm that will serve as the power source for five Equinor's offshore oil and gas platforms in Norway, Snorre A and B, and Gullfaks A, B and C.
Equinor president and CEO Eldar Sætre said: "Hywind Tampen is a new chapter in Norway’s narrative as an energy nation. With support from the Norwegian authorities, we're not only building Norway’s first offshore wind project; we're refining floating offshore wind technology along with the Norwegian supplier industry."
Norway approved Equinor's 4.8 billion Norwegian crowns ($466 million) plan to build the Hywind Tampen project back in April.
The eleven 8 MW floating turbines will have a total capacity of 88 MW and meet about 35 percent of the annual power demand of the five platforms.
"Eighty percent of the world's offshore wind resources are located in deep water areas and are available for floating offshore wind projects. If we can use projects like Hywind Tampen to make floating offshore wind competitive with other forms of energy, the technology will be able to deliver large-scale renewable power and contribute to a more sustainable global energy supply.
"A floating offshore wind market will also open up considerable industrial opportunities for Norwegian industry," Sætre says.
The development of the Hywind Tampen project involves around 250 full-time equivalents for Kværner employees. Kværner's project will also generate around 800 full-time equivalents in ripple effects for suppliers and the public sector, among others, Equinor said.
Furthermore, Equinor said, citing a study by Multiconsult, in total, the Hywind Tampen project could provide 1,550 to 3,000 full-time equivalents in ripple effects for the Norwegian private sector.
Equinor says its ambition is for floating offshore wind to be competitive with other forms of energy by 2030.
"By using larger turbines, concrete substructures, new technology and a new assembly method, we're well on our way toward delivering on the objective to reduce costs by more than 40% compared with Hywind Scotland. This is an important step to establish floating wind as a sustainable power supply alternative," says Hywind Tampen project director Olav-Bernt Haga.
"If more major floating offshore wind projects are realised in the future, it will be possible to reduce costs even further, and we could see a development in cost reductions equivalent to the one we've seen in fixed foundation offshore wind," Haga says.
Equinor sees a potential for floating offshore wind projects in Norway, the UK, Europe, the US and Asia.
Hywind Tampen will reduce emissions from the Gullfaks and Snorre fields by more than 200,000 tonnes per year, which corresponds to annual emissions from 100,000 private vehicles.
Siemens Gamesa will be responsible for the delivery of the wind turbines. They will be built in multiple locations in Europe before the turbines are transported to Wergeland Base in Gulen in Vestland county, where they will be assembled.
The electric cables will be supplied by JDR Cable System Ltd, which will be fabricating them in Hartlepool in the UK.
Subsea 7 AS will be responsible for installing the electric cables and connection to the Snorre and Gullfaks platforms.
Wood Group will be responsible for modifications on the Snorre and Gullfaks platforms. As the operator, Equinor will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the wind farm.