Norway Invites Bids for Developing Offshore Wind Projects of at least 1.5 GW

Projects to receive government support after Parliamentary approval


Norway has invited bids for offshore wind projects worth at least 1.5 GW, which can be expanded by another 2.25 GW depending on the conclusion of the ongoing survey.

The Norwegian government said that the announcement of bids was the first big step towards its ambition of allocating areas for 30 GW (the country’s total power production last year) offshore wind capacity by 2040.

A government statement said that the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy is announcing a competition for renewable energy production at sea in two areas on the Norwegian continental shelf: Sørlige Nordsjø II and Utsira Nord.

The application deadline for Sørlige Nordsjø II is August 4, 2023, and for Utsira Nord is September 1, 2023.

Renewable energy generation at Sørlige Nordsjø II, the first phase, will be awarded to one applicant through pre-qualification, followed by auction. The area will be awarded by the end of the year.

However, the government did not specify the capacity for projects in Sørlige Nordsjø II.

In the pre-qualification, the applicants must document their satisfactory technical competence and financial strength and meet relevant health, environment, and safety requirements.

The auction will have a minimum of six and a maximum of eight applicants.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy will propose to Parliament for authorization to enter a two-sided contract for the difference of renewable energy production at sea from Sørlige Nordsjø II, first phase. Any state funding will be limited by an upper ceiling.

Sørlige Nordsjø II, the first phase, will be awarded by action, which would be modeled on the British auction with open bidding.

The second set of projects at Utsira Nord has been opened for a capacity of 1.5 GW. Three projects will be allocated a project area based on the qualitative criteria.

Among other things, the criteria for the award will facilitate innovation and technology development in floating offshore wind.

The award of projects will take place by the end of 2023.

Further, if the operation of identifying new areas and capacity expansion in the zone concludes, the capacity on offer could be expanded by 750 MW for each project.

After the areas have been allocated, the developers will conduct an impact assessment and develop them further before a competition for state funding is carried out.

The government will propose to the Parliament that two out of three projects receive support for 500 MW each. They will be allowed the option to build 750 MW capacity.

“The project that does not receive state funding will retain the right to the area for a period and may use the public support system and will be able to participate in possible future competitions such as state funding for offshore wind,” the government statement said.

Last month, Germany’s Federal Network Agency launched a new offshore wind auction to install 1.8 GW of offshore wind power projects in the North Sea, with an expected grid connection date of 2028.

Earlier, Global Wind Energy Council’s report ‘Floating Offshore Wind – a Global Opportunity’ said that Ireland, Italy, Morocco, the Philippines, and the U.S. could spearhead the next wave of floating offshore wind development.