Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Industry has approved Equinor’s plans to build and operate the Hywind Tampen floating offshore wind farm, situated in the North Sea.

With the Norwegian authorities’ approval, the Snorre and Gullfaks oil and gas platforms will be the first in the world to receive power from a floating offshore wind farm.

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Featuring 11 wind turbines, the wind farm will be developed at a site located around 140km from shore, between the Snorre and Gullfaks platforms, at a water depth between 260m and 300m.

The 8MW turbines will have a total capacity to generate 88MW of clean energy that will be sufficient to meet about 35% of the annual power demand of the five platforms Snorre A and B and Gullfaks A, B and C.

Equinor Norway development and production executive vice-president Arne Sigve Nylund said: “Hywind Tampen is a pioneering project and a central contribution to reducing emissions from Gullfaks and Snorre, and I am pleased that both ESA and Norwegian authorities have approved the project.

“We are experiencing very challenging times, and we are focusing on continuing our transition effort while attending to and developing the value on the Norwegian continental shelf and at the same time reducing the climate footprint from our operations.”

Last October, Equinor and the Snorre and Gullfaks partners submitted their two updated plans for the project development and operation to the Norwegian authorities.

The Hywind Tampen wind project will be built with an investment of nearly NOK5bn ($489m), with Norwegian authorities agreeing to provide funding of up to NOK2.3bn ($225m) through Enova, while the Business Sector’s NOx fund decided to support the project by offering NOK566m ($55.4m).

The Hywind Tampen project development partners are operator Equinor, OMV Norge, Petoro, Idemitsu Petroleum Norge, DEA Norge and Var Energi.

Equinor technology, projects and drilling executive vice-president Anders Opedal said: “On behalf of the partners, Equinor has awarded contracts totalling NOK3.4bn ($418m), subject to final project approval by the Norwegian authorities.

“It is a plus that the oil and gas industry is competitive in renewables projects as well, and the contracts will lead to considerable spinoff effects in Norway.

“As the whole industry is currently experiencing much uncertainty, it is vital that we progress projects that spur technology development in the renewables segment and create spinoff effects on the Norwegian supplier industry.”