Construction Starts on World’s Largest Floating Offshore Wind Farm

The construction has started on the world’s largest floating offshore wind farm, Hywind Tampen, at Kværner Stord in Norway, Equinor said.

Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Kværner apprentice Arne Linga started the cutting robot on the project’s first sheet of steel on Thursday, 1 October.

Kværner’s assignment will include building eleven floating concrete hulls for the Siemens Gamesa 8 MW turbines on the 88 MW Hywind Tampen.

“Hywind Tampen is a new chapter in Norway’s narrative as an energy nation. With support from the Norwegian authorities, we’re not only building Norway’s first offshore wind project; we’re refining floating offshore wind technology along with the Norwegian supplier industry,” said Equinor’s president and CEO Eldar Sætre.

“Eighty percent of the world’s offshore wind resources are located in deep water areas and are available for floating offshore wind projects. If we can use projects like Hywind Tampen to make floating offshore wind competitive with other forms of energy, the technology will be able to deliver large-scale renewable power and contribute to a more sustainable global energy supply. A floating offshore wind market will also open up considerable industrial opportunities for Norwegian industry.”

The development of the Hywind Tampen project involves around 250 full-time equivalents for Kværner employees. Kværner’s project will also generate around 800 full-time equivalents in ripple effects for suppliers and the public sector, among others, Equinor said.

A study conducted by Multiconsult shows that, in total, the Hywind Tampen project could provide 1,550 to 3,000 full-time equivalents in ripple effects for the Norwegian private sector.

Equinor’s ambition is for floating offshore wind to be competitive with other forms of energy by 2030.

“By using larger turbines, concrete substructures, new technology and a new assembly method, we’re well on our way toward delivering on the objective to reduce costs by more than 40% compared with Hywind Scotland. This is an important step to establish floating wind as a sustainable power supply alternative,” said Hywind Tampen project director Olav-Bernt Haga.

“If more major floating offshore wind projects are realised in the future, it will be possible to reduce costs even further, and we could see a development in cost reductions equivalent to the one we’ve seen in fixed foundation offshore wind.”

Offshore Wind Power for Oil and Gas Platforms

The Hywind Tampen project will be the first floating offshore wind project to supply renewable power for oil and gas installations. The wind farm is expected to cover about 35 percent of the annual power needs on the five platforms Snorre A and B and Gullfaks A, B and C.

Located about 140 kilometres off the Norwegian coast in water depths of between 260 and 300 metres, Hywind Tampen will reduce emissions from the Gullfaks and Snorre fields by more than 200,000 tonnes per year, which corresponds to annual emissions from 100,000 private vehicles, Equinor said.

When the Hywind Tampen project becomes operational in the third quarter of 2022, Equinor will be operating one-third of the global floating offshore wind capacity.

Tier 1 Team

Apart from Kvaerner and Siemens Gamesa, the project’s main suppliers and service providers include JDR Cable System, Subsea 7, and Wood group.

The Siemens Gamesa turbines will be transported to Wergeland Base in Gulen in Vestland county, where they will be assembled. Siemens Gamesa will also maintain the turbines for a period of five years.

JDR Cable System will supply the electric cables for the project from its factory in Hartlepool, the UK.

Subsea 7 AS will install the cables and the connection to the Snorre and Gullfaks platforms, and Wood group will be responsible for modifications on the two oil and gas platforms.

Equinor is developing and will operate the NOK 5 billion (EUR 459 million) wind farm on behalf of the partnerships which include Equinor Energy AS (51%), Petoro AS (30%), and OMV (Norge) AS (19%) for the Gulflaks license, and Equinor Energy AS (33.3%), Petoro AS (30%), Idemitsu Petroleum Norge AS (9.6%), Wintershall Dea Norge AS (8.6%), Vår Energi AS (18.6 %) for the Snorre license.

Photo: Equinor/Illustration

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