Equinor, a Norwegian energy company, is better known for its projects in the oil & gas industry. It began commissioning the world’s largest floating turbine wind farm over the weekend. More turbines will be in operation at the end and beginning of next year.
Sunday saw the online launch of the first Hywind Tampen turbine. While we are discussing renewable energy sources here, all electricity produced will be used to extract oil and gas from North Sea sites.
Hywind Tampen is 140km from the Norwegian coast. Seven turbines are expected to be operational by 2022. The fourth year will see four additional turbines. Its capacity will increase to 88 MW after the project is fully implemented.
In addition to Equinor, Vår Energi, INPEX Idemitsu, Petoro, Wintershall Dea and OMV are participating in the project. According to reports Hywind Tampen will supply up to 35% energy for the Gullfaks, Snorre oil-and-gas developments. The carbon footprint of fossil fuel extractive activities will be reduced by using renewable energy. Eco-activists still have reservations about such a project, as hydrocarbons are ultimately responsible for most of the environmental pollution.
Equinor claims that the Hywind Tampen Turbines were placed on floating concrete bases. These projects have the advantage of allowing wind turbines to be installed in deeper water than with bottom-mounted turbines.
Equinor launched the Hywind Scotland project in 2017, a 30-MW five-turbine powerplant that Equinor describes as the first floating wind farm.
The number of these solutions has increased dramatically since then. There are many projects from China to the US, all at different stages of implementation. The United States is the only country that intends to increase the amount of floating wind farm energy to 15 GW by 2035. The country plans to reduce costs by 70%.