2022 was busy. 2023 will be busier, as the first Norwegian offshore wind licenses are to be awarded.

“I can’t wait! In nine months, we will know so much more. Which consortiums have won licenses. Which ports are selected as hubs for the operators. We will soon have many answers,” says Rune Klausen, Project Manager at Fremtidens Havvind – a regional offshore wind development project in Agder.

2022 saw lots of meetings between offshore wind consortiums and the regional offshore supplier industry, in preparation for the initial Norwegian offshore wind licensing round scheduled for 2023. Fremtidens Havvind and GCE NODE facilitated most of the meetings.

“In record-time, we have developed what is now recognized as the leading offshore wind region in Norway. Even the government has acknowledged this by awarding Agder NOK 5 million for a national competence center for offshore wind. We are the only region given such recognition,” says Klausen.

An unprecedented level of cooperation between the public and private sectors has propelled Agder to the forefront
of the offshore wind industry. Windport, a subsidiary of Global Ocean Technology in Mandal, has led the way – securing Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) with five consortiums. In Lyngdal, Farsund and Kristiansand more coastal industrial sites are being developed for offshore wind purposes.

An entire region has come together in support of the various initiatives, making Agder a likely base for the operator of Sørlige Nordsjø II and possibly also Utsira Nord.

Agder has put a lot of effort in to making this happen. Last September, the Norwegian delegation to WindEnergy Hamburg, Europe’s largest wind expo and conference, counted 150 delegates, of which 80 were from Agder. Regional mayors and industry executives made it very clear which region is leading the pack.

“People have noticed. Agder is where offshore wind is happening right now,” says Isabelle-Louise Aabel, Project Manager at GCE NODE.

Together with the University of Agder, the Agder region is building competence within the industry. In 2024, the
university expects to accept the first master students within offshore wind.

“By then, we will have established a national competence center in Kristiansand, with the support of the government, universities, and leading industry players,” says Aabel.

She expects 2023 to be a highly eventful and exciting year for offshore wind.

“It kicks off in less than a week into the new year, with the closing of the consultation round and prequalification for Sørlige Nordsjø. Let’s go!” says Aabel.