Norway starts race to develop major offshore wind farms

Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Terje Aasland, visiting Norway’s Marine Energy Test Centre (Courtesy of Norwegian Offshore Wind)
Norway this week opened competitions to develop offshore wind farms in two areas of its continental shelf, the first step in its plan to generate 30GW a year this way by 2040.

Interested companies have until 4 August to apply to develop the Sørlige Nordsjø II area, and until 1 September to develop the Utsira Nord area, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy said Wednesday.

“Leading Norway through the green shift is one of our major tasks as a government,” said Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.

“In order to further develop Norway, the answer to almost all questions is that we need more energy production. And that is why today marks a milestone.”

The ministry seeks one developer for Sørlige Nordsjø II, to be chosen by an auction among prequalified bidders.

At Utsira Nord, the ministry wants floating-wind developers for three areas.

“We are looking forward to receiving many good applications from relevant developers, so that we can allocate the project areas later this year,” said Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Terje Aasland.

Industry body Norwegian Offshore Wind praised the move, saying Utsira Nord could become the world’s first large-scale floating offshore wind farm.

“Finally, we’re getting started,” said the body’s manager, Arvid Nesse, adding: “It’s possible for us to get floating turbines in the water before 2030 if the process goes swiftly, which would be ahead of the Scots who allocated areas in early 2022.”

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