The world’s largest floating wind farm has officially opened

The Hywind Tampen project is located in the waters off the Norwegian coast.

Ole Berg Rusten | AFP | Getty Images

facility described as The largest in the world Norway’s Crown Prince Haakon officially opened the floating offshore wind farm on Wednesday, marking the culmination of a major renewable energy project that has been in the making for years.

It is located about 140 kilometers (86.9 miles) off the coast of Norway at depths ranging from 260 to 300 metres. Hywind Tampen It uses 11 turbines. The wind farm generated its first power in November 2022 and became fully operational this month.

While wind is a renewable energy source, Hywind Tampen helps power operations in oil and gas fields, the idea being that it will reduce these sites’ carbon dioxide emissions in the process.

“The Hywind Tampen system has a capacity of 88 megawatts and is expected to cover about 35 percent of the annual electricity demand on the five platforms Snorre A, B and Gullfaks A, B and C,” says the Norwegian energy company. moderation He said.

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Floating offshore wind turbines are different from fixed-bottom offshore wind turbines, which are rooted to the sea floor. One of the advantages of floating turbines is that they can be installed in much deeper waters than those with a fixed bottom.

In recent years, a host of major companies and economies such as the United States have set goals to increase floating wind facilities.

Equinor, a major player in the fossil fuel industry, describes the turbines at Hywind Tampen as “mounted on floating concrete structures with a common mounting system.”

Besides Equinor, partners in the Hywind Tampen project include Vår Energi, INPEX Idemitsu, Petoro, Wintershall Dea and OMV.

The project off the coast of Norway marks Equinor’s latest move into the floating wind sector. In 2017, it started its operations in Hywind Scotlanda facility consisting of five 30-megawatt turbines, and is called the first floating wind farm on the planet.

“With Hywind Tamben, we have shown that we can plan, build and operate a large floating offshore wind farm in the North Sea,” Siri Kendim of Equinor, who heads the company’s renewable energy business in Norway, said in a statement.

“We will use the experience and learning from this project to become better,” she added. “We will build bigger, lower costs and build a new industry on the shoulders of the oil and gas industry.”

Operation of the oil and gas industry

Using a floating wind farm to help power the fossil fuel industry is likely to be highly controversial at a time when discussions about climate change and the environment are at the forefront of many people’s minds.

This is because the impact of fossil fuels on the environment is significant. the says the United Nations that since the 19th century, “human activities have been the main driver of climate change, primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas”.

“The burning of fossil fuels generates greenhouse gas emissions that act like a blanket wrapped around the Earth, trapping the sun’s heat and raising temperatures,” he adds.

The stakes are high. Speaking at the COP27 climate change summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, last year, the UN Secretary-General issued a stark warning to those present.

“We are fighting the battle of our lives, and we are losing,” said Antonio Guterres.

“Greenhouse gas emissions continue to grow, global temperatures continue to rise, and our planet is rapidly approaching tipping points that will make climate chaos irreversible.”

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