Norway seeks to open areas to hold up to 3.5 GW of floating wind

Illustration of Hywind Tampen concept. Source: Equinor ASA

June 19 (Renewables Now) - Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy will consider opening two offshore areas for applications to build floating wind parks with a total potential capacity of up to 3.5 GW, it announced today.

The first area deemed suitable is Utsira Nord off the coast of Rogaland. It has the potential to accommodate between 500 MW and 1,500 MW of floating wind capacity. A proposal on hearing to open that area will be sent soon, according to a press statement.

The ministry will also request input on the southern area of Sorlige Nordsjo II, which could hold an estimated 1,000 MW-2,000 MW of generating capacity. The minister of petroleum and energy, Kjell-Borge Freiberg, stated that this area is near the territorial border with Denmark and can be suitable for connections to Europe's continental energy system.

As part of the planned hearing, which is expected to open before the summer, the ministry will propose a regulation to the ocean energy law that provides more detailed rules about the license process, the announcement says.

Norwegian energy major Equinor ASA (NYSE:EQNR) operates the world’s first full-scale commercial floating wind farm -- the 30-MW Hywind Scotland facility off the coast of Aberdeenshire in Scotland -- and is currently planning an 88-MW project to supply wind power to the Gullfaks and Snorre oil and gas fields in the northern North Sea.

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