Norwegian energy giant Equinor has received the go-ahead for its plans to build a floating wind farm able to power oil and gas installations in the Northern North Sea.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Industry in Norway today approved the plans for the 11 turbine wind project, which will power Equinor’s Snorre and Gullfaks fields.
The 88 megawatt (MW) Hywind Tampen wind farm aims to cut carbon emissions at the oil and gas fields by 200,000 tonnes.
The project, which is a global first, is a more than £400m investment by Equinor.
Arne Sigve Nylund, Equinor’s executive vice president for development and production Norway, said: “Hywind Tampen is a pioneering project and a central contribution to reducing emissions from Gullfaks and Snorre, and I am pleased that both ESA and Norwegian authorities have approved the project.
“We are experiencing very challenging times, and we are focusing on continuing our transition effort while attending to and developing the value on the Norwegian continental shelf and at the same time reducing the climate footprint from our operations.”
Equinor added that the Norwegian authorities have granted funding of up to £180 million through Enova.
The Norwegian business sector’s NOx fund will also support the project by up to £43 million.
Anders Opedal, executive vice president for technology, projects and drilling, said: “It is a plus that the oil and gas industry is competitive in renewables projects as well, and the contracts will lead to considerable spin-off effects in Norway.
“As the whole industry is currently experiencing much uncertainty, it is vital that we progress projects that spur technology development in the renewables segment and create spinoff effects on the Norwegian supplier industry.”
The Hywind Tampen project is scheduled for start-up at the end of 2022.
Equinor built the world’s first floating wind farm, Hywind Scotland, in 2017.