The Norwegian Ministry of Energy has postponed the 1.5GW Utsira Nord floating offshore wind tender to 2025.

The government deferred the tender as it plans to focus on establishing a subsidy model before awarding development areas.

The decision aligns with discussions with the European Free Trade Association’s Surveillance Authority (ESA).

The ministry postponed the tender indefinitely in October 2023, stating that it wished to work with the ESA and the European Commission for longer to obtain enough security.

The aim is to award areas based on qualitative criteria, with state aid competition to follow. The government has been in dialogue with the ESA to create a common state aid model for floating offshore wind.

Energy Minister Terje Aasland stated to “The work with floating offshore wind has a very high priority and we are impatient to move forward.

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“At the same time, we must do this in a proper and predictable way. We are concerned with building a solid foundation for floating offshore wind that will stand up.

“I hope that the notification can be approved before the turn of the year, and want to make arrangements so that we can allocate project areas in Utsira Nord in 2025.”

The ministry noted that notifying the state aid model before allocating project areas will enhance predictability and legal certainty for applicants.

It will also clarify the parameters for floating offshore wind in the upcoming 2025 round. The state aid will adhere to the country’s climate, energy and environmental aid guidelines.

A public consultation on the grant’s eligibility and key parameters is planned before summer 2024.

The consortium Ventyr, which includes Parkwind and Ingka Investments, has recently been selected in the country’s first offshore wind auction. It will develop the 1.5GW Sørlige Nordsjø II phase one project.