Bidders Flock to Norway’s First Offshore Wind Tender

The list of potential bidders for Norway’s first tender for offshore wind farm licenses is long. More than two dozen companies and joint ventures from throughout Europe are likely to participate in the tender planned for later this year.

Wind turbines in an offshore wind park during a storm with big waves hitting the shore.
Credit: Sjo/Getty Images.

The Norwegian government has earmarked two areas in the North Sea to accommodate up to 4.5 GW of floating and bottom-fixed wind turbine capacity. Utsira Nord, an area of 1000 km2, is northwest of Stavanger, and Soerlige Nordsjoe II, an approximately 2,590-km2 area, borders the Danish sector of the North Sea. Utsira Nord is seen as suitable for floating wind power, while Soerlige Nordsjoe II is suitable for bottom-fixed wind power turbines.

According to various news sources, companies and joint ventures likely to participate include the following:

  • Equinor, who will seek acreage in both areas. It is planning a bid with Eni renewables unit Vaargroenn for a floating offshore wind farm at Utsira North and has teamed up with Germany’s RWE and Norsk Hydro for a planned wind farm at Soerlige Nordsjoe II.
  • Germany’s EnBW and several Norwegian partners, including wholesale and retail food supplier Norgesgruppen. They have announced the Norseman Consortia initiative to develop a 1.4-GW wind farm in the Soerlige Nordsjoe II area.
  • Aker Offshore Wind is planning the 0.5-GW Vestavindar project at Utsira Nord and the 1.2-GW Soennavindar project at Soerlige Nordsjoe II. It has entered a partnership with top utility Statkraft to develop the latter site.
  • Italy’s Eni and Norway’s HitecVision have formed the Vaargroenn joint venture and seek acreage at Soerlige Nordsjoe II, together with utility Agder Energi.
  • Magnora and TechnipFMC plan to bid for a site at Utsira Nord through their Magnora Offshore Wind partnership.
  • Fred. Olsen Renewables, a subsidiary of Bonheur, and utility Hafslund Eco plan to jointly develop offshore wind in both areas.
  • Deep Wind Offshore, a joint venture of shipping company Knutsen OAS and utilities Haugaland Kraft and Sunnhordland Kraftlag, plans projects for both sites.
  • Seagust, a joint venture by industrial investment firms Arendals Fossekompani and Ferd, is considering bids for both areas.
  • Shell has said it is considering a participation in the tenders and that it sees large potential in Norwegian offshore wind.

Norway, western Europe’s largest oil and gas producer, is pushing ahead with North Sea wind power despite its already-plentiful renewables supply as it examines how it can adapt its petroleum industry to meet climate goals.

“We have the knowledge, the experience, and a good track record from establishing and building advanced installation in tough conditions far out at sea,” Reuters quoted Norwegian Oil and Gas Association director general Anniken Hauglie as saying. “We now need to use the time to build up new industries, new value chains, that will, over time, become the new legs for Norway to stand on.”

Like oil, Norway would export the offshore wind power it produces. A whitepaper expected soon from the country will examine Norway’s energy sector and will include more details about the licensing tender.