The Marine Energy Test Centre (METCentre) in Norway has been granted final approval for new test concessions for floating wind.
"This is a big day for the global floating wind industry and a big day for Norway. With this important expansion of our test activities, we will take big leaps in the development of floating technology and bringing down costs in this industry. This will provide valuable learning and knowledge to be utilized at Utsira Nord and other floating wind parks," said CEO of METCentre and Norwegian Offshore Wind, Arvid Nesse.
Today, there are two test turbines in the water in Norway. Zefyros is the world's first floating turbine, developed by Equinor and installed in 2009. Now it is operated and owned by Unitech Offshore. The TetraSpar Demonstrator was installed in 2021 and is developed by Stiesdal Offshore with partners Shell, RWE and TEPCO Renewable Power.
METCentre is developing new infrastructure to be ready in 2026. In total, 7 turbines will be tested in rough North Sea conditions.
"An important part of our government's offshore wind investment is to facilitate technology development and competence building, which, among other things, is important for bringing costs down. The METCenter is already doing an important job of testing the technology both for power production itself and for the environment, and with this expansion they can test even more technologies," said the Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Aasland in a press release.
Most of the slots are already booked, and there is a long waiting list of technologies interested.
"We are world leading within testing and developing new technologies in Norway. Many new concepts are very exciting, and full scale testing is instrumental in building a strong supply chain for future large-scale commercial floating projects," Nesse said.