Offshore wind may become a goldmine

Offshore windOslo.Pål Eitrheim - Equinor ASA .Photo: Vidar Ruud / NTB scanpix

Offshore wind could become a Norwegian industrial adventure

Two Statoil employees on a sailing trip were the brains behind the start of the company’s journey towards becoming a world-leading supplier of floating offshore wind turbines.

On the sailing trip, almost two decades ago, the idea was to put wind turbines on floating platforms said director, Pål Eitrheim, of the company, which has changed its name to Equinor, in his speech to the NHO’s annual conference.

The project has been named “Hywind Tampen”, and in the autumn, Equinor investigated the possibilities of supplying the Gullfaks and Snorre fields with electricity from floating offshore wind turbines.

The oil and gas platforms in the middle of the North Sea, where the Norwegian oil adventure started, could become the first in the world to be supplied with power from floating offshore wind turbines.

“The investment framework is NOK 5 billion. The investment decision could be made this year,” Eitrheim said.

The project could provide more than 200,000 tonnes of reduced CO2 emissions per year, which is equivalent to emissions from 100,000 passenger cars. Offshore turbines are more efficient than those closer to land, simply because it blows more there.

“If we succeed, the potential globally is huge. We are convinced that this is possible,” said Eitrheim.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today