Norway wants to open two new North Sea areas to offshore wind energy

Norway will seek to open two areas for the construction of floating offshore wind farms, which combined could hold a turbine capacity of up to 3.5 gigawatts(GW), the Norwegian oil and energy ministry said.

The oil-producing nation has recently been seeking to develop wind power, both onshore and offshore. The first offshore area, which the ministry will propose before July, is called Utsira North and is situated in the North Sea.

The ministry will also seek views about opening a second area, called Southern North Sea II, which is close to the offshore border with Denmark.

“We see interest from several kinds of businesses. You have Equinor in terms of a builder, but also (companies) from the service industry that are already in the market delivering wind projects in other places,” Norway’s oil and energy told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference via an interpreter.

He added that the year by when the offshore wind farms would be in place was still uncertain and the contact the ministry was currently having with interested parties was at a discussion level at this stage, without any applications submitted.

Utsira North could hold a power producing capacity between 0.5-1.5 GW, while North Sea II, a bigger block, could hold turbines with a total capacity of 1-2 GW, the ministry’s statement showed.

The latter is close to Denmark, said the ministry, and if wind farms are to be built there, they could be connected to continental Europe’s power system.