Norway Gives $190M Boost to Floating Wind Farm for Eni's Goliat Platform

File image courtesy Eni

Published Mar 10, 2024 10:50 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Norwegian government's innovation agency will provide more than $190 million to support the construction of a floating offshore wind farm in the Barents Sea, off the coast of Hammerfest. Floating-platform technology is still nascent, but is essential for commercializing the higher power potential found further offshore, where water depths are too great for installing bottom-fixed turbines. 

The future GoliatVind project came out first in a competitive grant process sponsored by technology funding agency Enova. Its backers include Japanese utility Kepco, wind developer Source Galileo and Norwegian offshore shipping company Odfjell. The project will take advantage of an existing power supply cable linking Eni's Goliat offshore oil platform back to shore. 

"The government wants to make arrangements for floating offshore wind to become a new leg for the Norwegian supplier industry to stand on," said Norwegian energy minister Terje Aasland. "GoliatVind is a project that can also contribute to the development of our continental shelf while also helping to strengthen the power system on land."

GoliatVind will leverage a planned joint venture between Odfjell and Prodtex, Windsteel Technologies, which will manufacture floating wind platforms at scale. The first plant should open in 2027, in time to supply the wind farm.

"If floating offshore wind shall become a relevant source of energy in the future, we need to dramatically reduce the costs, but also increase the scale. And we need to do this without sacrificing quality," said Per Lund, CEO of Odfjell Oceanwind, in announcing the venture last month. 

GoliatVind will be the second floating-wind project attached to an oil platform off Norway. Equinor, a pioneer in the space, brought its Hywind Tampen floating offshore wind project online last year. It was the first installation of its kind in the world, and it provides about one third of the power for Equinor's Snorre and Gullfaks fields.