Corio and Å Energi promoted Norvegen Wind at WindEurope Copenhagen. Left-right: Jarle Dyrdal (Å Energi), Øystein D. Nilsen (Å Energi), Sonia Chirico Indrebø (Corio), Matt Gleeson (Corio) and Guro Knapstad (Å Energi).

Corio Generation and Å Energi have announced Nordvegen Vind, the name for their joint venture aiming to deliver the country’s first grid-scale floating offshore wind farm.

Nordvegen Vind is targeting Utsira Nord, a deep-water site off the south-west coast of Norway endowed with some of the best wind resources in the world. Utsira Nord is one of two areas the Norwegian government has opened to licensing applications, with 1.5 GW available in an initial round of development.

Nordvegen is the name for the old shipping route which for more than 3,000 years has been a gateway for maritime trade and laid the foundation for Norway’s coastal development.

The Norwegian North Sea is seen as a prime spot for developing some of Europe’s first commercial-scale floating wind projects. The country has set a target of 30 GW from offshore wind by 2040, with Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre having declared the government’s intention to “develop Norway as an offshore wind nation”.

Corio Generation, headquartered in the UK, is a portfolio company of the Green Investment Group with a fast-growing 30+ GW pipeline of projects in Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific. Å Energi is one of Norway’s leading renewable companies with capabilities in offshore wind, hydropower, hydrogen, solar power and batteries. Both developers are also part of the separate Brigg Vind consortium which is targeting Sørlige Nordsjø II, in the Southern part of the North Sea.

Jonathan Cole, CEO of Corio Generation commented: “Norway has the ambition to become one of the first countries in Europe to develop grid-scale floating windfarms. We share this deep desire and believe Norway can show the way forward for floating wind, capturing the full potential of this phenomenal technology. Our Norvegen Vind team brings together Corio’s offshore wind experience, industrial capability and access to capital with Å Energi’s impressive regional presence and energy market expertise. Together, we can deliver on Norway’s vision of an offshore wind nation leading the world.”

In South Korea, Corio together with its partners is developing the 1.5 GW Gray Whale project, one of the world’s largest floating offshore wind developments, comprising three windfarms of around 500 MW each. Corio is also exploring opportunities to build floating wind projects in the UK Celtic Sea, France, Spain, as well as other countries.

Steffen Syvertsen, CEO of Å Energi commented: “Nordvegen Vind will, through Utsira Nord, contribute to developing a world-class floating offshore wind industry. In addition to contributing to increased renewable power production, offshore wind is a great opportunity for Norway to create new jobs, increase activity in the supply industry, new export opportunities, industrial development and local spin-offs.”

“The development of floating offshore wind on Utsira Nord is extensive and complex. But Nordvegen Vind has the foundation to solve the task. Utsira Nord will help set the standard for floating offshore wind in Norway and the development of the Norwegian offshore wind industry,” Syvertsen added.

Recent advances in floating technology mean countries with much deeper coastal waters, where it would have previously been impossible to building conventional fixed foundation offshore windfarms, can now install innovative floating wind platforms to harness their ocean wind resources. By 2050, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has estimated that floating windfarms could cover around 5% to 15% of global offshore wind installed capacity.