The Hywind Tampen facility is expected to meet about 35% of annual power demand of the Equinor's five offshore platforms


Illustration of the Hywind Tampen project. (Credit: Equinor ASA.)

Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Industry has given its approval to Equinor for the development and operation of its Hywind Tampen, an offshore floating wind farm to power its oil and gas operations in the Norwegian North Sea.

The 88MW floating offshore wind farm is expected to reduce more than 200,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually, by reducing the usage of gas turbines on the fields to power the oil and gas operations.

Last October, Equinor and the Snorre and Gullfaks partners submitted two updated plans for the development and operation to the Norwegian authorities.

Equinor Development & Production Norway executive vice president Arne Sigve Nylund said: “Hywind Tampen is a pioneering project and a central contribution to reducing emissions from Gullfaks and Snorre, and I am pleased that both ESA and Norwegian authorities have approved the project.

“We are experiencing very challenging times, and we are focusing on continuing our transition effort while attending to and developing the value on the Norwegian continental shelf and at the same time reducing the climate footprint from our operations.”

The wind farm will be powered by Siemens Gamesa’s 8MW turbines

The offshore wind farm will include 11 of Siemens Gamesa’s SG 8.0-167 DD direct drive turbines and will be based on the Hywind wind farm concept developed by Equinor.

Each of the turbines will have a capacity of 8MW and the total capacity of 88MW will help to meet about 35% of annual power demand of the five platforms including Snorre A and B and Gullfaks A, B and C.

It will be located about 140km off the coast, between the Snorre and Gullfaks platforms, at a water depth between 260 and 300m. It is expected to begin operations by the end of 2022.

Equinor estimates that the floating offshore wind farm could cost nearly NOK5bn ($487m).

Last year, the Norwegian authorities through Enova have committed to fund up to NOK2.3bn ($224m) for the project. Furthermore, Business Sector’s NOx Fund has agreed to support the project by offering NOK566m ($55.1m).