The Norwegian offshore wind consortium Norseman Wind, and the German energy giant EnBW, have moved their Norwegian offshore wind office from Stavanger to Kristiansand.

The move was announced Tuesday at the opening day of Hamburg WindEnergy 2022, the world’s largest wind power exhibition.

“We have made a strategic decision that the development, operation, and maintenance of Sørlige Nordsjø II will be managed from Kristiansand. Agder is a perfect location for our offshore wind investment,” say Atle Beisland, General Manager at Norseman Wind and Holger Grubel, Offshore Wind Manager at EnBW.

Left-right: Jan Oddvar Skisland (Mayor of Kristiansand), Holger Grubel (Offshore Wind Manager at EnBW), Arne Thomassen (Mayor of Agder County), and Atle Beisland (General Manager at Norseman Wind) in Hamburg.

Norseman Wind and EnBW plan to develop 1.5 GW offshore wind at Sørlige Nordsjø II, which is one of two areas that the Norwegian government has opened for offshore wind development.

Sørlige Nordsjø II is also a major industrial opportunity for the Agder region. The development is estimated to cost approximately NOK 35 billion, of which at least half is expected to find its way to the Norwegian supplier industry.

If Norseman Wind and EnBW are given a license to develop Sørlige Nordsjø II, the consortium will generate lots of job in the Agder region.

“We will need several hundred skilled people in the Agder region related to operation and development. Kristiansand will be the head office for Norseman Wind and the Norwegian head office of EnBW, while Mandal can play an important role as a construction port,” say Beisland and Grubel.

The first development phase of Sørlige Nordsjø II is expected to have an annual operating and maintenance budget of NOK 600-800 million.

“We believe that Norseman and EnBW’s decision to move the organization and head offices to Kristiansand will strengthen our chances of winning the auction,” say Beisland and Grubel.

Norseman Wind and EnBW met several mayors from Agder in Hamburg. Left-right: Holger Grubel (Offshore Wind Manager at EnBW), Atle Beisland (General Manager at Norseman Wind), Jan Kristensen (Mayor of Lyngdal), Arne Thomassen (Mayor of Agder County, Arnt Abrahamsen (Mayor of Farsund), and Even Sagebakken Tronstad (Mayor of Lindesnes).

Seven of Europe’s top clusters for blue energy gathered in Kristiansand last week.

The ELBE Alliance, which GCE NODE is part of, aims to contribute positioning Europe as the world technological and industrial leader in Blue Energy, with a special focus on offshore wind, wave and tidal energy.

Participants include Cluster Energia (Spain), Offshore Wäst/ RISE (Sweden), Pole Mere Mediterranée (France), Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (Scotland), Blauwe Cluster (Belgium), Energy Cluster Denmark (Denmark), and GCE NODE (Norway).

ELBE Alliance offers new opportunities to SMEs in offshore energy to share technology, establish alliances and create new business models across different sectors. The main goal is to support and reinforce internationalization of European SMEs and other relevant stakeholders in selected Blue Energy markets in North America and Asia.

The meeting in Kristiansand was a kick-off for the new EUR 1.4 million, 3-year project which the ELBE Alliance received funding for by the EU program COSME earlier this year.

The project is structured in five work packages; Coordination, Monitoring & Communication, Network & Preparation, Innovate, Train & Adopt, and Go International. GCE NODE heads Work Package 4, which is training of SMEs in business development tools.

While in Kristiansand, the ELBE representatives met with government officials and business leaders, primarily focused on offshore wind.

“We had good talks, made relevant connections and will meet again in Hamburg to continue discussions this week,” says Aabel.

More than 70 people from the Agder region are heading for the Hamburg WindEnergy expo and conference this week.

“We are travelling to meet leading players to learn more about offshore wind, and to present what the Agder region can offer,” says Tom Fidjeland, CEO of GCE NODE.

Just like Norwegians travelled the world in the 1970s to understand the global oil industry, we again orientate ourselves internationally prior to the first development of offshore wind on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

The Agder delegation to Hamburg comprises lots of industry leaders, but also of a group of mayors from Agder municipalities.

“The interaction between the public sector, the private sector and academia is crucial to succeeding in building Norway’s leading offshore wind region. This interaction has been exceptionally good during the past year!” says Fidjeland.

Good forces have pulled together in a venture coordinated and driven by the regional cooperation project Fremtidens Havvind and the GCE NODE offshore wind project.