Equinor and the Snorre and Gullfaks partners have taken a final investment decision to develop the Hywind Tampen offshore windfarm, a project that will see energy from offshore wind used to part-power offshore oil and gas facilities
Two updated plans for developing and operating Hywind Tampen are being submitted to Norwegian authorities today (11 October 2019).
The oil and gas platforms will be the first ever powered by a floating offshore windfarm, which is to be installed 140 km offshore in water depths of 260-300 m, between the Snorre and Gullfaks platforms.
Equinor chief executive Eldar Sætre said, “We have been systematically maturing technology for floating offshore wind for almost 20 years. The decision by the Snorre and Gullfaks partners helps bring this technology an important step forward. About 80% of the global resource potential for offshore wind is in deep waters, and floating wind could play an important part in the energy transition towards more a sustainable global energy supply. This brings substantial opportunities for Norwegian industry.”
Equinor and its partners will invest around Nkr5Bn (US$0.5Bn)in Hywind Tampen. The Norwegian authorities, through Enova, which is owned by the Ministry of Climate and Environment and funds green energy development, have made a funding commitment of up to Nkr2.3Bn (US$0.25Bn) for the project. In addition, the Norwegian NOx Fund has decided to support the project with up to Nkr566M (US$62M).
The windfarm will consist of 11 wind turbines based on the Hywind technology developed by Equinor. The 8-MW turbines will have a total capacity of 88 MW and will be capable of meeting about 35% of the annual power demand of the five Snorre A and B, Gullfaks A, B and C platforms.
Equinor executive vice president for development and production Norway Arne Sigve Nylund said, “The pioneering Hywind Tampen project will help cut emissions from Gullfaks and Snorre. We are driving a transition aimed to sustain and add value on the Norwegian continental shelf, while reducing the carbon footprint from our operations.”
By reducing the use of gas turbines on platforms in oil and gas fields, the project will help to reduce CO2 emissions by more than 200,000 tonnes per year.
“The authorities’ consent to extending the productive life of the Gullfaks field to 2036 and the Snorre field to 2040 – up to 20 years longer than when the fields were initially planned – made realising the Hywind Tampen project essential,” said Mr Nylund.
Scheduled to come on stream in late 2022, Hywind Tampen will be operated from Equinor’s Bergen office. Gulen Industrihamn in western Norway has been chosen to assemble the floating wind turbines.