Equinor gets $256M for wind farm aimed at powering offshore oil fields

Norway government’s climate change tackling fund Enova has awarded Equinor up to NOK 2.3 billion ($256,59 million) grant to support the development of a floating offshore wind farm that would electrify offshore oil platforms in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea.

Illustration of the Hywind Tampen project. Dimensions and distances are not realistic / Image source: Equinor

Enova is owned by the Ministry of Climate and Environment and contributes to reduced greenhouse gas emissions, development of energy and climate technology.

Equinor said on Thursday that the funds would be used to support the Hywind Tampen project aimed at developing the world’s first floating offshore wind farm supplying renewable power to offshore oil and gas installations.

Equinor and its partners are considering the possibility of supplying electricity from a floating offshore wind farm to the Gullfaks and Snorre fields.

“The support that the licences have received for the Hywind Tampen project demonstrates the will of Norwegian authorities to invest in and develop floating offshore wind farms and renewable energy supplies. With this support, we have taken an important step forward in realizing the project. Now it is up to the licences to further mature the project towards a final investment decision this autumn,” says Pål Eitrheim, executive vice president for New Energy Solutions in Equinor.

Earlier the Business Sector’s NOx Fund decided to support the Hywind Tampen project by an investment grant of up to NOK 566 million, Equinor said.

Final investment decision imminent

Olav-Bernt Haga, project director for Hywind Tampen, said: “The Hywind Tampen project will contribute to further developing floating offshore wind technology and reducing the costs of future floating offshore wind farms, offering new industrial opportunities for Norway, the licences and Norwegian supplier industry in a growing global offshore wind market.”

According to Equinor, Hywind Tampen may be the first project in the world for supplying electricity generated by floating offshore wind turbines to oil and gas platforms.

“The project will ensure profitable oil and gas production from the Snorre and Gullfaks fields with low CO2 emissions. The project may reduce CO2 emissions by more than 200,000 tonnes per year, equivalent to emissions from 100,000 private cars,” Equinor said.

The Hywind Tampen offshore wind farm will consist of 11 wind turbines with a total capacity of 88 MW. The wind farm will be able to meet around 35% of the annual demand for electricity of the five platforms: Snorre A and B and Gullfaks A, B and C.

“In periods of strong wind, the percentage will be much higher,” Equinor said.

The seven partners in the Snorre and Gullfaks licences are planning to make a possible investment decision for the Hywind Tampen project during the autumn of 2019.