Norway marked the official dedication of the Hywind Tampen wind farm with a ceremony attended by Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre on the Gullfaks C platform in the North Sea. Billed as the world’s largest floating wind farm the project is unique in that it is being used to power mature offshore oil production while it is also seen as a further proof of concept project to support the development of floating wind turbines.
The wind farm was developed by Equinor with the company noting it took five years for the project to go from the drawing board to completion. The wind farm, which generated its first power in November 2022, consists of 11 wind turbines. Hywind Tampen has a system capacity of 88 MW and is expected to cover about 35 percent of the annual need for electricity on the five platforms Snorre A and B and Gullfaks A, B, and C.
The wind farm is located nearly 90 miles from shore. At a water depth ranging between approximately 850 and 980 feet, Hywind Tampen will be exposed to some of the harshest offshore conditions. The field lines to the northwest of the city of Bergen, Norway.
Gullfaks in the North Sea with Hywind Tampen in the background (Ole Jørgen Bratland photo courtesy of Equinor)
The company highlighted that 40 years ago Gullfaks was Equinor’s major qualifying test in field development on the Norwegian continental shelf. Gullfaks along with Snorre have now become the first oil and gas fields in the world to receive power from offshore wind, reducing CO2 emissions from their operations.
Development of the project was further complicated by the pandemic. Equinor reports they encountered COVID-related costs, delayed deliveries, and quality issues with some deliveries which also resulted in follow-up issues. They also had to manage increased market prices, currency exchange effects, and other challenges. Despite that, the project is fully operational as of August 2023.
They expect the larger size and challenging location of Hywind Tampen will contribute to the understanding and future development of floating wind. They note that already the project was able to reduce the cost of installed MW by approximately 35 percent compared to the first floating wind farm, Hywind Scotland.
Enova, a state enterprise owned by the Ministry of Climate and Environment launched in 2001 to promote environmentally friendly energy consumption and production provided approximately $217 million toward the development of Hywind Tampen. In addition, the Norwegian Business Sector’s NoX fund supported the project with just over $50 million to stimulate technology development within offshore wind power and emission reductions.
Hywind Tampen is the first offshore wind farm in Norway, demonstrating the opportunities for renewable power production on the Norwegian continental shelf.
His Majesty Crown Prince Haakon and Prime Minister, Jonas Gahr Støre making the ceremonial connect August 23, 2023 (Ole Jørgen Bratland photo courtesy of Equinor)