Norwegian energy minister hints at potential second Hywind project off Norway

Terje Soeviknes Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg
Terje Soeviknes Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Norway’s energy minister hinted this week that a second incarnation of the Hywind Scotland floating wind project would be welcomed off the Scandinavian country’s coast.

Terje Soviknes, Norway’s minister of petroleum and energy, described the data from Equinor’s Hywind project as “very encouraging”, adding that “a Norwegian floating wind farm would reinforce our position in this market”.

Mr Soliknes delivered these remarks during his opening speech at the Energy Outlook conference, an annual event hosted by the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association and The Federation of Norwegian Industries.

During his opening remarks, the minister also announced that Norway is set to open two new areas in the Norwegian North Sea for offshore wind believed to be previously earmarked for oil and gas developments.

He confirmed that at least four sites are being considered long term.

Mr Soliknes said: “The industry has called for a demonstration and pilot facility. It will be a place to innovate and learn, enabling Norwegian technology and competence to develop in order to compete in a quickly evolving and growing global market.

“A part of our offshore wind strategy is to strengthen the supplier industry. I don’t expect to see a lot of offshore windmills in Norway. We have far more accessible and unexploited wind resources onshore, but it is important to develop the industry in a new segment that has great global potential.”

A spokeswoman for Equinor said: “Equinor believe the potential for floating wind is big. On a global scale close to 80% of the resource potential is in deep waters, too deep for bottom fixed wind.

“Also in Norway the potential is good and wind conditions good. However we are lucky to have approx 98% of the electricity from hydropower. Yet one could think that floating offshore wind could power offshore installation by replacing gas turbines, hence reducing the CO2-emissions.”

In June, Equinor said that data revealed that Hywind Scotland had become the most “energy available” offshore wind farm in the UK following its start-up last September.

The company highlighted industry figures showing the wind farm, located 15 miles off Peterhead, beat the industry average for energy availability for four out of its first six months of operation.

Hywind plant manager Halvor Hoen Hersleth said: “We have shown that we can compete and even beat more conventional offshore wind turbines.”

Industry Average* (%) Hywind Scotland (%)
Jan 95.3 98.2
Feb 94.3 98
Mar 93.1 89.2
Apr 90.5 98.5
May 94.9** 99