Norway’s Oil & Energy Ministry approved development plans on Wednesday for Equinor’s wind power project Hywind Tampen in the North Sea. It’s billed as the largest such project in the world, with construction due to start in 2022.
Oil & Energy Minister Tina Bru claimed it was “an historic day” and that the Hywind Tampen WIND project represents “a small step in the global green shift, but a giant step for a Norwegian wind industry at sea,” with floating turbines. Bru believes it can be the start of a new era for Norwegian industry.
The wind farm, involving 11 wind turbines meant to power the Snorre- and Gullfaks oil fields, has stirred debate, however. Equinor claims it won’t be profitable and needs state support, while others claim Equinor should finance it using its profits generated over the years. The state-backed Enova and the NOx-fund are contributing around NOK 2.8 billion of the project’s estimated NOK 4.8 billion price tag.
Anders Opedal, in charge of technology, projects and drilling at Equinor, called Hywind Tampen “a pioneer project” marking the first time “we’ll connect its electricity. It’s clear costs become high, then. Therefore it’s great that we have such a cooperation” with Enova and the NOx-fund.