Norway has opened its first offshore wind tenders, offering two areas on the country's continental shelf that are planned to accommodate about 3 GW of capacity.
The announcement, made by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy on Wednesday, is a milestone in the Scandinavian country's ambition to award areas for 30 GW of offshore wind by 2040.
"Today is the starting signal, and it is important to keep up the pace," said Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.
The Sørlige Nordsjø II area in the North Sea will be awarded to one applicant by the end of the year through a pre-qualification and an auction. The winner will sign a two-sided contract for difference and will have to install between 1.4 GW and 1.5 GW in the area. The deadline for submitting applications is August 4, 2023.
The Utsira Nord area can host a capacity of 1,500 MW which will be allocated to three projects by the end of 2023. The winners in the competition will be selected on the basis of qualitative criteria, which among other things, facilitate for innovation and technology development in floating offshore wind.
Applications are expected by September 1, 2023.
Two of the projects in Utsira Nord will receive state funding and an option to raise their capacity to 750 MW. The third project will be allowed to use the general public support system and participate in possible future competitions.
"Norway has great opportunities in offshore wind. Our areas at sea, are five times larger than areas on land. And there is a lot of wind along our coast. In addition, we have skilled professionals and companies that will contribute to develop this technology", Støre commented.
The government has already started the assessment of more areas for offshore wind energy and plans to offer more plots for such projects in 2025.
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