The world’s largest floating offshore wind farm is officially online

Hywind Tampen, the world’s largest floating offshore wind farm, was inaugurated today by global power giant Equinor and its partners.

Norway-headquartered Equinor developed and is operating Hywind Tampen, which consists of 11 8.6 megawatt (MW) turbines. It’s around 140 km (87 miles) off the Norwegian coast in a water depth of between 260 and 300 meters (853 to 984 feet).

It produced its first power in November last year and reached full output earlier this month. Today, it officially launched:

It’s also Norway’s first floating offshore wind farm, and it’s the world’s first floating wind farm to power offshore oil and gas platforms. Floating wind farms, which are a new technology being installed in deeper waters, feature wind turbines fixed to floating bases that are anchored to the seafloor.

Equinor’s 94.6 MW, €488 million ($522 million) project will provide electricity for the Snorre and Gullfaks oil and gas fields in the Norwegian North Sea. It’s expected to meet around 35% of the five platforms’ annual power needs.

Equinor asserts that Hywind Tampen will reduce the need for locally produced gas power and “thus reduce annual emissions from the fields by about 200,000 tonnes of CO2, which is equivalent to emissions from 100,000 vehicles.”

Norway is the world leader in electric cars per capita. It’s planning 30 GW of offshore wind by 2040. But the Scandinavian country is also Western Europe’s largest oil and gas producer. The petroleum sector makes up around 40% of Norway’s exports and 14% of its gross domestic product.

The Norwegian government says it will work to cut the country’s net emissions by 55% by 2030 from 1990 levels. That’s aligned with EU targets. But unlike its EU neighbors, Norway says its move to clean energy will be gradual and that it has no intention of giving up oil and gas exploration.

Photo: Karoline Rivero Bernacki/Equinor ASA

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