On October 1, construction work began on a project that will be ten years in the making: a giant windfarm located offshore of Norway, at Kværner Stord. The project will build eleven floating concrete hulls that will house the turbines for a wind farm known as Hywind Tampen.
“Hywind Tampen is a new chapter in Norway’s narrative as an energy nation. With support from the Norwegian authorities, we’re not only building Norway’s first offshore wind project; we’re refining floating offshore wind technology along with the Norwegian supplier industry,” says Equinor president and CEO Eldar Sætre.
Equinor is Norway’s leading energy company, though most of their power currently comes from Hywind Scotland Company, something they wish to see changed.
80% of the world’s offshore wind resources are in deep water areas, Sætre says. The goal is to access these areas beginning with Hywind Tampen and become energy self-sufficient by 2030. The construction will employ 250 employees at Hywind Tampen and 800 jobs on land.
The construction will use giant turbines, massive concrete substructures, new technology and an original assembly method that has never been used before. All of it together is an enormous experiment that they hope will lead to similar construction projects offshore of Europe, the United States, and Asia.
Despite the use of wind power, much of Hywind Tampen’s energy will come from oil and gas. The wind turbines are designed not to generate power for land but to power five massive oil and gas rigs offshore—the Gullfaks and Snorre fields. Hywind Tampen will reduce current emissions by 200,000 tons per year, which is the equivalent of taking 100,000 cars off the road.
When complete, Equinor will be operating one-third of all global offshore wind capacity.