Deep Wind Offshore and EDF Renewables met up in Copenhagen at Wind Europes Electric City-conference in November.

EDF to Bid in Norwegian Tender with Deep Wind Offshore

EDF Renewables has partnered with the Norwegian Independent Power Producer (IPP) Deep Wind Offshore to bid in the offshore wind auction in Norway, where the new 50/50 joint venture will submit applications for the development of two commercial-scale projects in the tendered areas, Utsira Nord and Sørlige Nordsjø II.

Deep Wind Offshore

“To have Deep Wind Offshore as a partner on the Norwegian shelf, will strengthen the offering and put us in a strong position to secure exclusivity on the announced areas. Based upon our significant experience in offshore wind, we are at the forefront of technology-development to deploy in particular floating offshore wind projects”, said Frédéric Belloy, Executive Vice President, International Operations at EDF Renewables.

The Norwegian government opened the application period at the beginning of this year, after identifying the two sites for the development of up to 4.5 GW of floating and bottom-fixed offshore wind capacity in 2020.

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The government said that Utsira Nord, an area of 1,000 square kilometres located northwest of Stavanger, was suitable for floating wind power, while Sørlige Nordsjø II, covering some 2,590 square kilometres and bordering the Danish sector of the North Sea, was deemed suitable for bottom-fixed wind power turbines.

“Utsira Nord is ideally located outside our head office, and we are convinced that we can develop a sustainable and cost-effective project that will deliver energy to a region in need of more power and jobs in the supply-chain. With excellent wind speeds and waters ideally suited for floating offshore wind, I certainly believe that Norway is ready to move into deploying floating wind at commercial scale”, said Knut Vassbotn, CEO of Deep Wind Offshore, owned by Knutsen OAS, Haugaland Kraft and Sunnhordland Kraftlag (SKL). 

In June of this year, the Minister of Pertoleum and Energy at the time, Tina Bru, said the government believed that the support for technology development was the most appropriate tool for developing floating offshore wind solutions in Norway, as demonstration projects could help reduce costs.

The former Minister said Enova was the vehicle to support the development of floating offshore wind technology and that the government would consider increasing its grants to Enova as part of the regular state budget process when the time comes to award concessions to prospective developers at Utsira Nord.

A few days ago, Deep Wind Offshore was awarded a EUR 1 million grant by Enova for a project looking to optimise the entire architecture for a floating wind farm, with the aim of developing a more cost-effective floating wind farm design in the Utsira Nord area.

The project will see the project partner Unitech documenting a new design of a dynamic power cable for the floating wind farm and Deep Wind Offshore working on the floater design, the interface to the turbine, tower, and a cost-effective transformer station at Utsira.

“The support from public agencies such as Enova is a prerequisite for implementing floating offshore wind projects in the short term, so this is an essential milestone in the development of offshore wind energy production on the Norwegian continental shelf. Enova has played a leading role in this development, and we hope that they will continue to do so, until the industry, hopefully in the near future, can deliver commercial projects independently”, said Deep Wind Offshore’s CEO Knut Vassbotn.

In June, the Norwegian government also announced speeding up the award procedures and said that it would award at least three areas for up to 500 MW each at Utsira Nord, with the process starting by the end of this year, unless there are any major changes as a result of responses to the consultation.

For areas in Sørlige Nordsjø II, which is said to most likely see bottom-fixed offshore wind projects being built and operated without state aid, the government said it would announce an auction as soon as the assessment of hybrid projects was completed and that the auction could take place in the first quarter of 2022.