The EFTA Surveillance Authority in Brussels, which monitors compliance with European Economic Area free trade rules, has approved Equinor’s plan to build the Hywind Tampen floating offshore windfarm, which it will use to provide clean power to offshore oil and gas platforms
The development of the floating offshore windfarm is part of Norway’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and transition towards a more sustainable energy supply.
EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) president Bente Angell-Hansen said, “ESA finds that aid to the project is compatible with EEA state aid rules that aim to promote environmental protection as the positive environmental benefits outweigh the negative effects on competition.”
As previously highlighted by OWJ, the goal of the project is to reduce emissions from oil and gas production and in other sectors, and to pave the way for developing floating windfarms as a competitive energy resource globally.
The ESA also highlighted the fact that the European Union’s European Green Deal considers an increase in offshore wind capacity essential for the clean energy transition.
The Hywind Tampen project will consist of 11 floating 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 Snorre A and B and Gullfaks A, B and C platforms. It will be the first floating offshore windfarm supplying power to oil and gas platforms.
Norway, through the state enterprise Enova, has granted Nkr2.3Bn (US$240M) to Equinor and its partners OMV, Petoro, Idemitsu, DEA and Vår Energi to realise the Hywind Tampen project. That accounts for around 43% of the project’s investment costs.
In October 2019, Equinor and the Snorre and Gullfaks partners took a final investment decision to develop Hywind Tampen.
Two updated plans for developing and operating Hywind Tampen were submitted to Norwegian authorities on 11 October 2019.