Norway

Norway

Norway earmarks offshore sites for 4.5GW of wind

The Norwegian government has selected two sites to support 4.5GW of offshore wind capacity, paving the way for the country’s first commercial-scale offshore projects.

The Utsira Nord and Sørlige Nordsjø II sites have been mapped out for offshore wind development (Pic: NVE)
The Utsira Nord and Sørlige Nordsjø II sites have been mapped out for offshore wind development (Pic: NVE)

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Developers will be able to apply for licences to build offshore wind farms in two zones off the country’s south-west coast from January 2021.

It is not yet clear whether these licenses enable the developers to start construction, or if there will be a subsequent tender process.

Windpower Monthly has contacted the energy ministry for clarification about the licence application process.

The 1,010km2 Utsira Nord site lies west of Haugesund. Norway’s deep waters may necessitate the use of floating foundations, the government pointed out.

However, the 2,591km2 Sørlige Nordsjø II, south-west of Kristiansand, could support both fixed-bottom and floating foundations.

The ministry had suggested a third site for offshore wind development — Sandskallen-Sørøya Nord, outside Hammerfest in the north of the country — when it launched a consultation on the zones last year.

However, it did not move forward with the site after facing “robust resistance” from local fishing associations, the ministry explained.

Energy minister Tina Bru added that the views of fishermen would be important for future projects.

Norway has 2.4GW of operational wind capacity, according to Windpower Intelligence, the research and data division of Windpower Monthly. Its only offshore capacity is a single 2.3MW  floating offshore turbine off the coast of Karmøy in the south-west of the country.

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