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Equinor to build $550 million wind farm to power offshore Oil & Gas platforms

15/10/2019
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Equinor have made a final investment decision on the Hywind Tampen offshore windfarm, which will deliver power to Oil & Gas platforms in the North Sea.

Artist's illustration of the proposed Hywind Tampen project
(Image via Equinor)

The company have submitted submitted updated plans for development and operation of the 88MW wind farm to the Norwegian authorities.

The proposed wind farm will be located 140km from the Norwegian coastline, in 260-300 metres of water, between the Snorre and Gullfaks platforms - for which it will provide the power. According to Equinor, these platforms will become the first to ever be powered by a floating offshore wind farm. 

“The pioneering Hywind Tampen project will help cut emissions from Gullfaks and Snorre. We are driving a transition aimed to sustain and add value on the Norwegian continental shelf, while reducing the carbon footprint from our operations,” said Arne Sigve Nylund, Equinor’s Executive Vice President for Development & Production Norway.

“The authorities’ consent to extending the productive life of the Gullfaks field to 2036 and the Snorre field to 2040, up to 20 years longer than when the fields were initially planned, has been essential to realizing the Hywind Tampen project.”

11 turbines will be built at the wind farm, each with a capacity of 8MW. This should be enough to meet 35% of the annual power demand of five platforms - Snorre A and B, Gullfaks A,B and C.

This in turn is expected to cut CO2 emissions from the fields by over 200,000 tonnes per year - the equivalent of 100,000 passenger cars. 

“We have been systematically maturing technologies for floating offshore wind for almost 20 years. The decision by the Snorre and Gullfaks partners helps bring this technology an important step forward. About 80 % of the global resource potential for offshore wind is in deep waters, and floating offshore wind may play an important part in the energy transition towards more sustainable global energy supply. This brings substantial opportunities for Norwegian industry,” says Eldar Sætre, chief executive officer of Equinor.

Investment in the project will total almost NOK 5 billion ($550 million). Norwegian authorities, operating through Enova, have made a funding commitment of up to NOK 2.3 billion ($250 million), while the Business Sector’s NOx Fund will support the project by up to NOK 566 million ($62 million).

Western Norway company Gulen Industrihamn has been selected for the assembly of the turbines, which are scheduled to come on stream in late 2022.

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Recent Comments
I certainly hope the plans for the proposed wind farm are rejected for environmental reasons. Namely for the protection of bird species Having worked offshore in the Danish sector, I have witnessed first-hand the large number and variety of birds that take advantage of offshore structures for rest and refuge. Many birds were migrating, others, such as eagles, hawks owls and other smaller birds, were land based and blown further offshore when seeking food. The wind turbines proposed, with long blades almost invisible when spinning at high speed, will be just like huge siren-like “food choppers” sticking out of the ocean, enticing and killing many thousands of birds. On the positive side, the fish in the area will be well fed :o(
Larry Kingdon, 04 November 2019
Cornell University has documented a huge global bird decline over the past 30 years due in large part to habitat loss due totally to human encroachment on forests, prairies and wetlands. The open seas was until now free from large scale human interference. Now that last safe haven is threatened by these massive offshore wind farms. I don't see the trade off here -- millions of birds for a few more MegaWatts of power -- as being worthwhile for the birds and humanity. 👎🏿 to wind farms.
DOUG DOWNARD, 08 November 2019
Thank you for reporting my previous comment on wind farms. I should add though that I am not anti - wind power, just against the large propeller type wind turbines. Particularly as there are alternative options available, such as the Vertical Axis Wind Type and no doubt others. The VAWTs are lower in height and generally, being a cylindrical shape or variation of, provide a much lesser target area for birds to fly into, and with units operating at slower rotational speeds. Also, if needed, the design suggests a protective open mesh cage could be fitted around the units to further avoid direct bird contact. Obviously the financial ($) cost of present alternatives must be much greater than that for the huge wind turbines now spread across the globe. However no consideration or costing seems to have been given to the consequent loss of wildlife species or to the environment. Methods to harness wind power are constantly improving, becoming less costly and more effective. But, even if not as efficient as the type now used other wind power options are available. Wind power is renewable, wildlife species are not. Extinction is forever. PS. FYI. I have taken the liberty of adding a few links to some sites to support my comments. https://www.evolving-science.com/environment-energy-water-and-waste-management/icewind-iceland%E2%80%99s-solution-wind-energy-00150 www.icewind.is. Extreme Energy Solutions https://inhabitat.com/innovative-new-wind-turbine-from-iceland-is-tough-enough-for-the-strongest-gales https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/aug/04/do-windfarms-kill-birds-how-australia-can-limit-the-impact-on-threatened-species https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jul/15/bob-brown-rebukes-tasmanian-windfarm-project-as-the-new-franklin-dam
Larry Kingdon, 08 November 2019
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Equinor to build $550 million wind farm to power offshore Oil & Gas platforms - Time to read 3 min
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