Norwegian Consortium Plans Arctic Floating Wind Farm in Barents Sea
One of the world's first offshore oil-associated wind projects could be built in the Arctic, and it could enter operation as early as 2026, according to its developers.
Wind systems contractor Odfjell Oceanwind, renewables developer Source Galileo and Eni subsidiary Vår Energi have formalized plans to build a floating offshore wind farm which will connect to Var's Goliat floating production platform, located off the coast of Hammerfest in the Barents Sea. The project consists of five 15 MW floating wind turbines (75 MW in total) tied to the subsea electrical cable that supplies Goliat with shore power.
Goliat needs about 50 MW to operate, and it already receives this electricity from renewable generating facilities on shore. Compared to a standard platform design without a shore power connection, this saves about 300,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per year, according to Var Energi.
The oil company does not have any commercial or operational commitments to the GoliatVind project, but is partnering with Odfjell and Source Galileo to enable development. Thanks to Goliat's subsea power cable, the wind farm will increase overall available generating capacity for the broader Finnmark region.
"GoliatVind is exciting because Norwegian offshore wind technology can be demonstrated in a demanding area. Such projects are also crucial to achieve our commitments in the Paris Agreement before 2030," said Gunnar Birkeland, CEO of Source Galileo Norge.
The project will leverage Odfjell's Deepsea Star floating platform design, which the partners say is well-suited to the water depth of 1000-1200 feet at the site. The partners hope that the small wind farm could be up and running as early as 2026.
"The solutions to be demonstrated on GoliatVind are standardised and can be used in all locations in the North Atlantic suitable for floating offshore wind. This is therefore a very important project for us, and one that will enable a rapid spread and scaling of the technology both to other projects," said Simen Lieungh, chairman of Odfjell Oceanwind.
Current work on the project consists of a study to evaluate its compatibility with the Barents Sea's thriving fishing industry, as well as technical evaluation to ensure that it does not create any operational risks for Goliat.