Norway begins studies for large offshore wind projects


Alan Jamieson / CC BY 2.0

Posted on August 26, 2022 4:48 PM by

The Maritime Executive

The Norwegian government is moving forward with an ambitious offshore wind program after embarking on preliminary studies at one of two sites in the North Sea.


The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD), responsible for carrying out studies in two areas open to applications for offshore wind – Sørlige Nordsjø II and Utsira Nord – chartered the survey vessel Fugro Adventurer conduct pilot surveys in the eastern part of Nordsjø II.


The Norwegian government recently established a framework for opening the Utsira North and Southern North Sea II areas to offshore renewable energy production. Efforts have also been launched to identify potential new areas along the coast that are suitable for the development of offshore wind energy. The aim is to open up an area totaling five to six times the size of the Southern North Sea II Lease Area, or about one percent of Norwegian waters.


The country hopes to generate 30 GW of offshore wind power by 2040, almost equivalent to the amount of electricity currently produced in Norway. Over the period, Norway hopes to install around 1,500 new offshore wind turbines.


At Utsira North, the goal is to develop 1.5 GW of capacity using floating offshore wind technology, which will be required for the site’s average depth of 875 feet. Projects of 1.5 GW each will also be developed in the Southern North Sea II area between Norway and Denmark.


Mobilization for the pilot survey began in Aberdeen, Scotland, where a team of geophysical and hydrographic researchers assembled aboard the Adventurer for a tour and review of the equipment on board.


“The NPD has considerable experience and expertise in operating seismic surveys from oil and gas operations. A strong evidence base is key to managing resources in the best possible way,” said Arne Jacobsen, NPD Deputy Director for Technology, Analytics and Coexistence.


The survey, which is expected to be completed in early October, will include the collection of basic seismic, bathymetric and water column data, in addition to the towing of a magnetometer and side scan sonar. The data will be important in the effort to draw up development plans and will form part of data sets for companies that have been granted licenses to develop offshore wind projects in the region. NPD intends to complete the entire process by the end of the year.


Built in 2017, the 71.6 meter Adventurer is part of Fugro’s premium survey fleet. The vessel is equipped to broadcast large amounts of data to shore for rapid processing and analysis.


Top picture: Fugro Venturer in Aberdeen (Alan Jameson / DC BY 2.0)

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