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World’s Largest Floating Wind Farm Could Become Reality

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Energy company Equinor, in partnership with ConocoPhillips, Shell and Total, is looking into the possibility of building the world’s largest floating offshore wind farm, according to POLITICO Pro’s CLIMATEWIRE (subscription).

What’s going on: Equinor said that “Trollvind,” which would be constructed off the coast of Bergen, Norway, “would have an installed capacity of about 1 gigawatt and would produce 4.3 terawatt-hours annually.”

  • “The companies are aiming to make the installation economically feasible by buying as much energy as it produces and are targeting a final investment decision next year to bring the installation online in 2027.”

Why it’s important: The announcement comes as many energy companies look increasingly to offshore wind, which is set “to develop rapidly through the end of the decade.”

  • Floating offshore installations such as the planned Trollvind allow for energy harvesting in deep waters where installing fixed-foundation turbines is not feasible, opening up many more areas of the water to wind capture.
  • “The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) forecasts that floating offshore wind capacity will reach 16.5 GW by 2030, according to a recent report published by GWEC and sponsored by Shell.”

A call to U.S. action? “This continued advancement begins unlocking the technology and supply chain to build the new industry,” Business Network for Offshore Wind Director of Coalitions and Strategic Partnerships Sam Salustro told the publication.

  • “[T]here is still a need for coordination between the states and federal government to ensure we have the infrastructure to support floating [wind] and can support our suppliers.”
  • The West Coast leads the U.S. in floating wind-farm development.

The NAM’s take: “This announcement is part of a much larger trend we are seeing in the U.S. and around the globe,” said NAM Director of Energy and Resources Policy Chris Morris. “The NAM has been a leader in ensuring all states that want to pursue offshore wind options can. Earlier this year, we urged policy makers to repeal the 10-year moratorium on offshore wind leasing off the coasts of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. We will continue to push for policies that provide diverse, secure energy options for manufacturers.”

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