Norwegian Gov’t Plans Q1 2023 for Floating & Offshore Wind Auctions, Drafts Tender Frameworks

The Norwegian government aims to tender Utsira Nord and the first phase of the Southern North Sea (Sørlige Nordsjø II) offshore wind areas by the end of the first quarter of 2023, according to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, which has now issued frameworks for the tendering processes and opened consultation.

Norwegian Petroleum and Energy Minister Terje Aasland; Photo: Margrete Løbben Hanssen / OED

Commenting on the ambition from the government to launch the tenders in the first quarter of next year, Arvid Nesse from Norwegian Offshore Wind said: “We need a speedy process, and we expect the government to keep the timeline they have promised today. The entire Norwegian offshore wind industry is eager to get started, and we will work together to give the most constructive input possible”.

The government presented its proposals for the tender frameworks today, 6 December, and invited input from the offshore wind industry and other users of the sea on prequalification, auction model, and support scheme before the tender documents are drawn up.

Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy

The documents released for consultation also contain an overview of the division of areas for Southern North Sea II and Utsira Nord.

The deadline for feedback is set to 6 January 2023.

“The government wants the investment in offshore wind to provide industrial development in Norway, facilitate innovation and technology development and provide increased production of renewable power. To achieve these goals, we must have a close dialogue with the offshore wind industry and other industries at sea”, said Terje Aasland, Norwegian minister of Petroleum and Energy.

Norwegian Petroleum and Energy Minister Terje Aasland; Photo: Margrete Løbben Hanssen / OED

For Southern North Sea II, the government is proposing a so-called Anglo-Dutch auction, under which it plans to award 1.5 GW of offshore wind capacity in the first phase and 1.5 GW in the second phase which will be auctioned at a later date.

Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy would also hold a prequalification period for developers who wish to compete for the areas in the first phase of the allocation.

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A ceiling will be set for the number of applicants who can be prequalified to participate in the further competition. 

In the now open consultation, the Norwegian government is seeking input on how this ceiling should be set. 

If there will be a need for subsidies, the proposal is that this be done through a bilateral contract for difference (CfD), with the government’s support through the CfDs to be limited through an upper ceiling.

For Utsira Nord, it has already been decided earlier that the site(s) will be awarded on the basis of qualitative criteria, including facilitating innovation and technology development in floating offshore wind. 

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Utsira Nord has been opened for a capacity of 1,500 MW. The government will divide this into three areas, with a wind farm of 500 MW to be built within each area. 

According to the Ministry, it is a general goal for the work with the process for allocating Utsira Nord sites that state support is as low as possible, so a competition will be held for the support.

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