Photo: Arne Reidar Mortensen / Equinor ASA

Norwegian offshore wind industry working on new grid solutions

A new project aiming to advance offshore wind grid connection technology and develop new solutions has been launched in Norway.

The Ocean Grid project – led by Equinor and gathering 15 other companies and research institutions – will develop new cable designs, subsea technology, and floating converter stations, with the work to focus on both bottom-fixed and floating wind farms.

Furthermore, the three-year project will address the issue of market design and the regulatory framework linked to the development and operation of an offshore grid to connect large offshore wind farms.

Ocean Grid also has a research component, led by SINTEF, that will solve specific research challenges.

“This project will develop technology and solutions that are essential to succeed with offshore wind. It will lay the foundation for a profitable offshore wind development in Norway, and technology that can provide increased exports and new green jobs,” said chief scientist at SINTEF, John Olav Tande.

Along with Equinor and SINTEF, the project partners are: Agder Energi, Aker Offshore Wind, Deep Wind Offshore, Hafslund Eco, Fred. Olsen Renewables, Aibel, Nexans, AkerSolutions, DNV, Benestad, ABB, Hitachi ABB, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), and the University of Oslo (UiO).

The project has been awarded financial support of NOK 82.7 million (approx. EUR 8 million) by the Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Industry through the Green Platform scheme.

Ocean Grid partners will also bring their own financial contributions to the table, raising the total to NOK 125.5 million (approx. EUR 12 million) for the development of the offshore grid solution.

“This project is important and on point to develop the right solutions and new technologies that will enable profitable offshore wind in Norway. This will lay the groundwork for new concepts, new jobs and a new supplier industry that can compete internationally”, said Lars Bender, responsible for offshore wind at Fred. Olsen Renewables.