Friday, December 9, 2022

World’s largest floating wind farm for offshore oil and gas production

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Offshore wind power begins the countdown to add a new park to its map. A few days ago, Norwegian power giant Equinor began to assemble the wind turbines of what will be the largest floating offshore wind farm in the world: Hywind Tampen.

The floating wind farm under construction will provide electricity for the Snorre and Gullfaks oil and gas fields in the Norwegian North Sea. It will be the world’s first floating wind farm to power offshore oil and gas platforms. With a system capacity of 88 MW, it will also be the world’s largest floating offshore wind farm and an essential step in industrializing solutions and reducing costs for future offshore wind power projects.

The floating wind farm will consist of 11 wind turbines upgraded from 8 to 8.6 MW. The capacity in the export system and on the platforms has not been upgraded accordingly. However, the increased capacity could contribute to increased yearly total production due to increased uptime.

The first four of 11 wind turbines in Norway’s first offshore wind farm have now been installed, towering 190 meters over Fensfjorden before being towed out into the North Sea for offshore floating power generation. The Hywind Tampen wind farm is located around 140 km (87 miles) off the Norwegian coast in a water depth of between 260 and 300 meters (853 to 984 feet).

When Hywind Tampen is operational, Equinor will operate nearly half (47%) of the global offshore wind energy. Hywind Tampen will be a test bed for further development of floating wind, exploring the use of new and larger turbines, installation methods, simplified moorings, concrete substructures, and integration between gas and wind power generation systems.

The wind farm is estimated to meet about 35% of the annual electricity power demand of the five Snorre A and B and Gullfaks A, B, and C platforms. In periods of higher wind speed, this percentage will be significantly higher.

Operational experience with the completed facilities can also contribute to improving the production capacity through an increased utilization rate. Hywind Tampen is scheduled to start producing power in the third quarter of 2022.

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