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    Equinor plans mega offshore wind farm to deliver electricity at less than 90 euros per megawatt hour


    June 20, 2022 - CE Noticias Financieras

     

      The plan - Equinor reports - is for the consortium to purchase as much electricity as the future mega-park can generate "at a price that makes the project viable". The electricity generated by the Trollvind offshore farm can (1) make an important contribution, Equinor explains, to the electrification of the Troll and Oseberg platforms; (2) accelerate the development of offshore wind in Norway; and (3) supplement the electricity supply of the entire Bergen region.

      Anders Opedal, chief executive of Equinor: "Trollvind's vision is for renewables to work towards facilitating the achievement of several goals: cutting greenhouse gas emissions through electrification; deploying new generating capacity in an area where supply problems already pose a challenge to new industrial developments; and maintaining Norway's leading position in terms of industrialization of the floating offshore wind sector. A farm on the scale of Trollvind can further the ambition expressed by Norwegian authorities to position the country as an offshore wind nation built on the accumulated know-how and experience that the oil and gas industry can bring."

      In 2020, the Norwegian parliament (Stortinget) decided to step up its demands for emissions cuts (it set a 50% cut in emissions as a 2030 target, whereas until then it had only committed to -40%). To achieve this new target, it is essential, Equinor points out, that sources of greenhouse gas emissions of the size of oil rigs reduce their contributions of ceodes. According to the company, "the electrification of installations with a long useful life will be the key to success in this transition". The Trollvind project will also give the Norwegian offshore wind industry a long-term visibility (as a supplier of components for the future wind farm) that will be positive for the country, according to the Norwegian utility's chief executive.

      Thomas Brostrøm, executive vice president of Shell's Global Renewable Generation division: "This can be a fantastic opportunity for Norway and its industry. The joint utilization of our capabilities to decarbonize existing operations and to accelerate the development of offshore wind is exactly the kind of actions that our companies must execute to further drive society's progress towards a zero carbon horizon in 2050".

      From part its managing director and head for Norway of TotalEnergies, Phil Cunningham, has been manifested "enthusiastic" with the possibility that the Trollvind project opens to satisfy the demand for electricity of the oil platforms of the Sea of the North with renewable energy. This project - Cunningham has come to say - is an example of how valuable it is to combine the Norwegian leadership in the production of green energy with the offshore experience of the oil company TotalEnergies.

      Kristin F. Kragseth, CEO of Petoro: "In this project we are building on Norway's extreme competitiveness and strengths, which are none other than technological development and collaboration. Cooperation between all parties is crucial to drive the industry towards a low-carbon future. This is important for Norway as a mature region in the oil and gas sector and to ensure Norway's competitiveness in the future."

      According to Equinor, Trollvind is a project that can drink from the experience of Hywind Tampen, which is a floating offshore wind farm - 88 megawatts - that the Norwegian utility is developing off the country's coast. "The growth of wind farms is a key factor for the industrialization of the offshore wind sector and cost reduction." In addition, Equinor explains, the offshore electricity that will be exported to the mainland can interact with hydroelectricity - manageable - making a more efficient system. Finally," the company points out, "offshore wind electricity will improve the guarantee of supply on oil platforms.

      The partners of the consortium promoting this megaproject are currently evaluating which commercial agreements (for the sale of wind electricity to the Troll and Oseberg oil platforms and to the Kollsnes gas processing plant) can make it viable.

      Equinor assures that if such agreements are reached, Trollvind will not require any other form of financial support. According to the Norwegian utility's estimates, the future 1,000 megawatt offshore wind farm could deliver electricity at less than one Norwegian krone per kilowatt hour (less than nine euro cents per kilowatt hour). The utility stresses that a long-term, price-stable power purchase agreement for the electricity generated by Trollvind will benefit a region where industrial growth could be constrained if there is no guarantee of supply. At the same time," Equinor says, "such an agreement would ensure a sufficient level of revenue for the mega-park to trigger investment in it.

      Trollvind -Equinor concludes- is now in the maturation phase by Troll and Oseberg's partners, who are initiating feasibility studies leading to a future investment decision, which would take place "during 2023".

      Prices and Costs of Electricity Generation, National Energy Commission (page 11)

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