Pause (stop?) button pushed for Trollvind floating offshore wind farm

Norwegian state-owned energy company Equinor is postponing indefinitely any further development of the Trollvind floating offshore wind far. The company said that the decision was “based on several challenges facing the project, including technology availability, rising cost and a strained timetable to deliver on the original concept.” Equinor had already announced reduced activity on the project, citing technical, regulatory, and commercial challenges.

When first announced back in June 2022, plans were to build a floating offshore wind farm in the Troll area some 65 kilometres west of Bergen, Norway.

With an installed capacity of about ~1 GW and an annual production of ~4.3 TWh, with a startup in 2027, Trollvind was aimed at providing much of the electricity needed to run the Troll and Oseberg offshore fields through an onshore connection point.

“We appreciate all the positive response towards Trollvind from politicians, suppliers, and authorities. Trollvind was a bold industrial plan to solve pressing issues concerning electrification of oil and gas installations, bringing much needed power to the Bergen-area, while accelerating floating offshore wind power in Norway” says Siri Espedal Kindem, the former president of Equinor Wind US who is now vice president of renewables Norway at Equinor. “Unfortunately, we no longer see a way forward to deliver on our original concept of having an operational wind farm well before 2030.”

Behind the decision to put Trollvind on hold, says Equinor, are several challenges facing the broader offshore wind industry. Rising costs have challenged the original concept that Trollvind would not require any financial support and it is no longer a commercially sustainable project.

Furthermore, “changes in the technical solutions due to preferred technology not being available have made the concept less viable,” says Equinor, adding that “time was always going to be a challenge with the proposed timeline, and despite all the big effort it has not been possible to mature Trollvind to the level needed to go forward at this time.”

The company says that the knowledge and learning from working on Trollvind will be applied to other projects as it remain committed to developing floating offshore wind power at Utsira Nord and outside Norway