Renewable energy firms RWE and NTE, and offshore services company Havfram, have signed a deal to jointly participate Norwegian government’s tender for floating offshore wind energy, which will begin later this year.
By 2030, Norway, one of Europe's largest oil and gas producers, plans to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 55 percent compared to 1990 levels, while also promoting green growth.
The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has designated Utsira Nord, located around 30 kilometers off the coast of Norway west of the island of Svendsholmen, for up to 1.5 gigawatts (GW) of new floating offshore capacity.
Sven Utermöhlen, CEO Offshore Wind RWE Renewables, one of the world's largest offshore renewable energy companies, said: “Utsira Nord is an excellent opportunity for us to develop a floating offshore wind project on an industrial scale with two strong Norwegian partners. In the field of floating offshore wind power, we are doing pioneering work at no less than three demonstration plants, including the TetraSpar Demonstrator which is being commissioned now at its site less than 20 kilometers from Utsira Nord. We will put the knowledge and experience we have gained in our pilot projects to work in Norway in the future.”
Christian Stav, CEO of NTE, one of the largest producers of renewable energy in Norway, said explains:"Hydropower and floating wind are perfectly complementary energy sources in the Nordic energy mix. Therefore, we look forward to collaborating with RWE and Havfram as we are now taking the first steps towards developing floating wind in the Norwegian North Sea together. The technical know-how and international experience of our partners complement our local expertise across the entire value chain.”
The partners say they are convinced that offshore wind energy will be a key component in the future energy mix and one of the solutions to meeting the growing demand for renewables. Moreover, it will permit new industries to develop and will lead to news jobs being created.
“The expansion of offshore wind is a crucial factor for a successful energy transition in Norway. With RWE and NTE, we strive to advance this transition, and aim to be a valuable addition to Norway’s marine energy sector,” said Odd Strømsnes, CEO of Havfram, the company previously known as Ocean Installer.
RWE has cited studies that say that 80 percent of the marine areas potentially available for wind farms worldwide are suitable only for floating technology.
"From a depth of about 60 meters, foundations firmly anchored to the seabed are hardly economic. For this reason, RWE is conducting in-depth research and development work for floating offshore wind technology. The company is currently investigating the potential of this innovative technology in three joint ventures in Norway, the US and Spain, and is thus in an ideal position to carry out further projects in the Norwegian North Sea," RWE said.
Apart from Utsira Nord, the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has designated another area for offshore renewables: Sørlige Nordsjø II. RWE has already expressed interest in this area, which borders the Danish sector in the North Sea.