Norway could become the home of the first offshore wind farm directly connected to oil and gas platforms, as Equinor and its partners at Gullfaks and Snorre have decided to explore the possibilities of supplying the five platforms at the oil and gas fields with power from a floating offshore wind.
The decision to look into realising the project at Gullfaks and Snorre came after an extensive study evaluating which oil and gas installations on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) are suited for power supply from a floating offshore wind farm, and the two fields in the Tampen area in the northern North Sea were identified as the most favourable for this project.
The solution to be further explored is a wind farm consisting of eleven wind turbines based on Equinor’s floating offshore wind concept, Hywind. The project will comprise 8MW turbines and meet about 35% of the annual power demand of the five Snorre A and B, and Gullfaks A, B and C platforms.
The preliminary capital and development expenditures of the project totalling about NOK 5 billion (approx. EUR 514 million), and the project aims at further cost reductions, Equinor stated.
The industry’s NOx fund will provide up to NOK 566 million in investment support for the project. In addition, Norwegian authorities have through their offshore wind strategy and Enova opened for financial support for innovative offshore wind projects associated with the oil and gas industry. The Snorre and Gullfaks partners have applied for support from Enova’s programme for full-scale innovative energy and climate measures to realise the project.
The seven Snorre and Gullfaks partners in the Tampen area in the North Sea will now mature the project towards a possible investment decision in 2019.