Hywind Tampen, touted as the world’s largest floating offshore wind farm, has officially opened, with 11 turbines in operation about 87 miles off the coast of Norway.
It was opened by Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and has a system capacity of 88 megawatts, which is a significant dent in the country’s desire to generate 30 gigawatts (30,000 megawatts) of offshore wind power by 2040, per Reuters.
🌊The world's largest floating wind farm "Hywind Tampen" was officially opened by Crown Prince Haakon of #Norway last week. It is also the first wind farm in the world that will be supplying #electricity to oil and gas platforms.— WindEurope (@WindEurope) September 1, 2023
Watch this video 👉https://t.co/6pHstiMAMb
The turbines are anchored to the sea bed on a floating surface, allowing them to be attached in deeper waters where there are stronger winds.
While it seems like a hugely positive development in the production of renewable energy, the project from Norwegian energy firm Equinor might also seem slightly counterintuitive.
The clean energy the turbines will generate will be used to provide 35% of the annual power required for five platforms at oil and gas fields in the North Sea. While perhaps it’s not ideal that the renewable power will be used for extracting dirty fuel, Norway’s Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre still sees the wind farm as a positive for Norway’s sustainable future.
“The world will continue to need gas and oil in this transitional phase,” he said, per Reuters. “This is not a cut-off from one day to the other. So we have to minimize the footprint.”
Equinor’s head of renewables in Norway, Siri Kindem, also had the long-term picture in mind, saying in a statement published by CNBC: “We will use the experience and learning from this project to become even better. We will build bigger, reduce costs and build a new industry on the shoulders of the oil and gas industry.”
It’s the latest offshore floating wind farm from Equinor, which opened its first project off of Scotland in 2017. Described as a world first, the Hywind Scotland park produces 30 megawatts of sustainable power. According to Equinor, it “has achieved the highest average capacity factor of all UK offshore windfarms.”
According to Reuters, the Hywind Tampen turbine field will reduce Norway’s carbon dioxide pollution by 0.4%, preventing the expulsion of about 220,000 tons annually.
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