RWE, NTE, and Havfram Eye Floating Wind Farms Offshore Norway
German energy company RWE and Norway’s NTE and Havfram have signed a collaboration agreement to participate in the Norwegian government’s tender process for floating offshore wind energy, which will begin later this year.
The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has designated a new area for this purpose. Utsira Nord, located around 30 kilometres off the coast of Norway west of the island of Svendsholmen, offers the opportunity to build up to 1.5 gigawatts of new floating offshore capacity.
Sven Utermöhlen, CEO Offshore Wind RWE Renewables, said: ”Utsira Nord is an excellent opportunity for us to develop a floating offshore wind project on an industrial scale with two strong Norwegian partners. In the field of floating offshore wind power, we are doing pioneering work at no less than three demonstration plants, including the TetraSpar Demonstrator which is being commissioned now at its site less than 20 kilometres from Utsira Nord. We will put the knowledge and experience we have gained in our pilot projects to work in Norway in the future.”
The partners are convinced that offshore wind energy will be a key component in the future energy mix and one of the solutions to meeting the growing demand for renewables. Moreover, it will permit new industries to develop and will lead to new jobs being created.
”To be able to reach the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement and to successfully accomplish the green transition, we need to increase the production of renewable energy,” Christian Stav, CEO of NTE, one of Norway’s largest energy companies, said.
”Hydropower and floating wind are perfectly complementary energy sources in the Nordic energy mix. Therefore, we look forward to collaborating with RWE and Havfram as we are now taking the first steps towards developing floating wind in the Norwegian North Sea together. The technical know-how and international experience of our partners complement our local expertise across the entire value chain.”
According to current findings, 80 per cent of the marine areas potentially available for wind farms worldwide are suitable only for floating technology. From a depth of about 60 metres, foundations firmly anchored to the seabed are hardly economic. For this reason, RWE is conducting in-depth research and development work for floating offshore wind technology. The company is currently investigating the potential of this technology in three joint ventures in Norway, the US, and Spain.
Apart from Utsira Nord, the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has designated another area for offshore renewables – Sørlige Nordsjø II. RWE has already expressed interest in this area, which borders the Danish sector in the North Sea.