Companies or consortia wishing to test their floating offshore wind technology can submit a bid to the test centre located outside of Karmøy on the West coast of Norway. Additionally, they must account for the project's carbon footprint, impact on nature and the environment, and coexistence with other industries at sea.
Potential test customers must demonstrate how the project provides positive effects for the supply chain. They must also be able to explain how their solution contributes to reducing costs in the field of floating offshore wind.
"We are in contact with a long list of project owners who are interested, but we want to cast a wide net in the market. A tender process like this, where we also set some qualitative requirements, will help ensure that we receive a robust project that can drive the industry forward," says METCentre CEO Arvid Nesse.
Before Christmas, METCentre received the decision from the Ministry of Energy stating that their new concession has a final approval. In total, five new projects are planned, in addition to the two turbines currently in operation at the site. Some of the berths are reserved, but when one of the projects was terminated in 2023, it was natural to find a good model to bring in a new project.
"We have closely aligned ourselves with the criteria proposed by the industry for Utsira Nord. We are in a pivotal time for floating offshore wind, where we see that the choices we make today set the direction for the entire industry in the future," says Nesse.
The test concessions granted to METCentre are up to 20 MW per unit. In early January, Aker Solutions announced that they have signed a FEED with METCentre to develop the world's first underwater power distribution system for floating offshore wind.