Southern North Sea II and Utsira Nord 2023 seabed surveys completed offshore Norway
The seabed surveys have been completed for this year in the areas of Sørlige Nordsjø II (Southern North Sea II) and Utsira Nord offshore Norway.
Over the past two years, seabed surveys have been carried out in the open areas of Southern North Sea II and Utsira Nord.
The Utsira Nord surveys began in summer but due to technical problems and downtime caused by bad weather, the surveys could not be completed as planned, said the Norwegian government.
The northern project area has been completed, the southern project area is almost complete while the central project area has barely started, according to the government.
The surveys for the first phase of Southern North Sea II have been finished and data will be made available “as soon as possible”, the Norwegian government outlines.
At Southern North Sea II, Norway will award 1.5 GW of offshore wind capacity in the first phase and a further 1.5 GW at a later date in the second phase.
Although the surveys have been completed for this year, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy will propose to the Norwegian Parliament to complete the surveys for the announced project areas on Utsira Nord early next spring, according to the press release.
The Norwegian government officially opened the application window for Norway’s first offshore wind auction on 29 March, offering a combined capacity of 3 GW across two areas, 1.5 GW at Southern North Sea II and 1.5 GW at Utsira Nord.
The deadline for applications was set for 1 September and the winners of the first offshore and floating wind sites were expected to be announced by the end of this year.
However, as the Norwegian government needs to have the EFTA Surveillance Authority’s (EFTA) approval of the subsidies that the offshore wind projects will be awarded, and as it is anticipated that it may take some time to obtain the approval, the application deadline has been moved to 1 November.
This also means that the allocation of the first offshore wind areas will take place in early 2024.