The Norwegian government is backing a project led by Equinor designed to lay the groundwork for the development of offshore wind on the Norwegian continental shelf.
Iselin Nybø, the norwegian trade and industry minister, announced that the Ocean Grid project will receive NOK 82.7 million (€8.1 million) of financial support through the Green Platform, a sustainable investment mechanism launched by the government in May 2020 as part of economic stimulus measures implemented in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ocean Grid partners, which include energy companies, suppliers and research institutions, are also contributing their own financial resources, bringing total funding for the three-year project to NOK 125.5 million (€12.2 million).
Ocean Grid will be looking at the way offshore wind farms in Norway – both bottom-fixed and floating – will be connected to the grid, while also addressing issues like the market and regulatory framework needed for the development and operation of an offshore grid for large offshore wind farms.
Alongside Equinor, Agder Energi, Aker Offshore Wind, Deep Wind Offshore, Hafslund Eco and Fred Olsen Renewables are among other participants.
Ocean Grid also intends to develop Norwegian technology and a supply chain to provide new cable designs, subsea technology and floating converter stations. Participants believe Norway is in a privileged position to carve out a significant market share in offshore wind in Europe given the sea and subsea technology leadership position acquired in five decades of experience in offshore oil and gas.
Ocean Grid also has a research component, which will be led by Norwegian research institute Sintef.
“This project will develop technology and solutions that are essential to succeed with offshore wind,” said John Olav Tande, chief scientist at Sinfe. “It will lay the foundation for a profitable offshore wind development in Norway, and technology that can provide increased exports and new green jobs.”