The latest in a growing number of projects examining the potential application of offshore wind energy to provide power to the oil and gas industry could see wind turbines provide electricity to Norway’s Nyhamna gas processing plant.
Reuters has confirmed that Norwegian gas system operator Gassco and Canadian energy firm Enbridge are working on a 350-MW offshore wind project to boost power supply security at Nyhamna. The story was first discussed by OWJ in August 2018.
Gassco confirmed that the company is undertaking a technical study for Enbridge, evaluating the possibility of a tie-in of the Havsul 1 offshore windfarm to the Nyhamna plant. The study is expected to be completed by Q2 2019.
As Reuters reported, the project, which would be the country’s first offshore windfarm, was fully licensed by Norwegian energy regulators in 2009 before being abandoned in 2012 due to profitability concerns and insufficient subsidies.
Nyhamna is one of Norway’s biggest gas processing plants, handling output from Shell’s Ormen Lange field. Its capacity was raised to 84M m3 per day this year to accommodate gas from the Aasta Hansteen field. However, the plant’s power supply is fed by a single grid line, the fragility of which has caused outages in recent years, affecting exports to Britain.
As previously reported by OWJ, the 350-MW bottom-fixed offshore windfarm would be built a few kilometres off the coast of Sandøy and Aukra municipalities in Møre og Romsdal county, in water depths ranging from 9 m to 30 m. Gravity-base foundations are believed to be the foundation of choice for the project. Gravity-based foundations were developed by Olav Olsen for the Havsul project while still owned by Vestavind.
It would be built in what was described as a ‘near ideal’ location near the Nyhamna gas processing plant and right at the centre of Norway’s well-known maritime and offshore clusters.
Norway urgently needs to reduce emissions from its offshore oil and gas industry and electricity from offshore wind provides a potential way of doing so. Other projects that could see offshore wind power supplying offshore oil and gas platforms include Equinor’s Hywind Tampen effort and others are in the works.