Equinor and Vårgrønn, the Norwegian renewable energy company established by HitecVision and Eni, have signed a collaboration agreement to jointly prepare and submit an application to the Norwegian authorities to develop floating offshore wind at Utsira Nord west off Utsira and Haugalandet in the Norwegian North Sea, one of the world’s most important areas for wind resources.
The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has opened two areas for offshore renewables (Utsira Nord and Sørlige Nordsjø II), and the authorities are currently working on the licensing process.
“The North Sea has some of the world’s best wind resources. A floating offshore wind farm at Utsira Nord could be the next project at scale to drive industrialisation of floating offshore wind and create new opportunities for Norwegian industry. Together with Vårgrønn, we are eager to contribute to a new chapter in Norway’s energy legacy and position floating offshore wind as a new industry contributing to the energy transition. As the leading floating offshore wind developer, Equinor has the experience and capabilities necessary to develop the next full-scale floating offshore wind farm in Norway after Hywind Tampen” says Executive Vice President for New Energy Solutions in Equinor, Pål Eitrheim.
“We are excited to enter into a partnership with Equinor on floating offshore wind, contributing to the continued development of Norway as a leading energy nation. This project will be essential for Vårgrønn development and for our ambition to achieve 1 gigawatt (GW) of installed capacity by 2030. Developing a home market for offshore wind power, particularly floating, will be crucial for developing the Norwegian industry in this sector and for positioning new technologies in a growing global market. Vårgrønn and its owners make available their competence and commitment to help further develop a new industry within the renewable energy sector in Norway” says Olav Hetland, CEO, Vårgrønn.