Norway Starts Work on Opening Three New Offshore Wind Areas It Plans to Auction Off in 2025
The Norwegian government has commissioned the country’s Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) to carry out strategic impact assessments of three offshore wind areas that may be opened and put out to tender in 2025.
For the tendering round in 2025, NVE has recommended that the government consider the possibility of the already open areas Sørlige Nordsjø II (Southern North Sea II) and Utsira Nord being expanded with two areas named Sørvest F and Vestavind F. In addition to these two areas, the government plans for a strategic impact analysis to also be undertaken for a third area, Vestavind B.
The Southern North Sea II and Utsira Nord areas, which are now in the process of being awarded for development through Norway’s first offshore wind tender, were opened following a strategic impact assessment from 2012. The starting point after the 2012 assessment was that 3,000 MW could be developed in the Southern North Sea II area and 1,500 MW in the Utsira Nord area.
The proposed expansion with the addition of the Sørvest F and Vestavind F areas changes the assumptions based on the analysis from 2012 and a strategic impact analysis must therefore be carried out for the effects of the capacity expansions, according to the Norwegian government.
The government has also commissioned NVE to carry out a strategic impact assessment of the Vestavind B area, which is said to have good wind conditions and a lot of existing infrastructure related to established industries and interests in the area.
The strategic impact assessments for the 2025 round must be delivered to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy before the end of November 2024.
NVE has also been commissioned to start with strategic impact assessments of the other areas that are relevant for tendering moving forward, towards 2040. These assessments are scheduled to be completed before the end of June 2025, the Norwegian government said.
Earlier this year, a group of Norwegian directorates, led by the Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE), identified 20 new areas for offshore wind development and recommended they should be investigated further.
The 20 areas include the three that are now being progressed by the government towards the 2025 round.
It is based on this work that it was deemed possible to carry out an offshore wind auction in 2025, but the directorates said this would be possible in 2025 only for extensions to the Sørlige Nordsjø II and Utsira Nord areas, for which capacity expansion opportunities and new sites have both been identified.
Identifying the 20 new areas, which are said to be technically suitable for offshore wind and have relatively few conflicts of interest, is part of the Norwegian authorities’ work towards having 30 GW of offshore wind in operation by 2040.
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