Equinor's Dudgeon offshore wind park. Equinor is one of the partners in NorthWind. Photo: Jan Arne Wold, Equinor

Major investment to make Norway a leader in offshore wind

NTNU and SINTEF will be partners in the newly funded FME NorthWind research centre, which will develop competitive offshore wind farms within ten years.

The NorthWind Research Centre for Environment Friendly Energy (FME) has been awarded NOK 120 million for the next eight years by the Research Council of Norway.

The goal is for a consortium of more than 40 industry, research and educational institutions to work together to make Norway a world leader in offshore wind and make offshore wind a competitive energy source in the next decade.

“Rapid growth in offshore wind power internationally offers great opportunities for Norwegian businesses. Research and development is crucial to secure lower costs, less environmental impact and improved operating models for such projects. I believe a longterm research centre with industry partners, the research community and the government will contribute to further development of offshore wind power in Norway”, said Tina Bru, Norway’s Petroleum and Energy Minister in announcing the award of the grant.

More consideration for people and nature

This major investment will develop new green jobs in Norway in offshore wind, contribute to offshore wind becoming a new export industry in Norway, increase efficiency in offshore wind, cut costs and contribute to the sustainable development of wind power on land and water.

Now we have to develop wind power that shows even greater regard for both people and the environment.

“Land-based wind power has seen a great deal of engagement on the part of the public. Now we have to develop wind power that shows even greater regard for both people and the environment. An important task for the centre is to be a knowledge-based meeting place for different wind power interests,” says NTNU’s rector Anne Borg.

NTNU Rector Anne Borg

NTNU Rector Anne Borg. Photo: Thor Nielsen / NTNU

Great expertise in offshore wind

NTNU and SINTEF were also partners in the previous Centre for Environment Friendly Energy related to offshore wind, FME NOWITECH, from 2009 to 2017. The centre provided the foundation for 40 innovations and educated more than 260 master’s students and 40 PhD candidates.

FME NorthWind will continue these efforts to train experts for the future.

The centre will be managed by SINTEF along with NTNU, the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI), the Norwegian Institute for Natural Research (NINA) and the University of Oslo (UiO). Among the larger international partners are DTU, TNO, Fraunhofer, University of Strathclyde, NREL and NCEPU. The collaboration with over 40 Norwegian business partners is absolutely central, the players said.

High ambitions and concrete goals

Among the main goals are to develop competitive floating wind farms by the year 2030, and at least 20 innovative developments.

“Norway is a knowledge powerhouse when it comes to ocean space technology. NorthWind will study new radical solutions that will make offshore wind a very important part of the energy supply of the future. The knowledge developed in the centre will also be valuable for the other important maritime industries in Norway,” said Alexandra Bech Gjørv, CEO of SINTEF.

Alexandre Bech Gjørv

Alexandre Bech Gjørv, CEO of SINTEF, Scandinavia’s largest independent research institution. PHoto: Terje Trobe/SINTEF

The Research Council of Norway’s centres for environmentally friendly energy (FME) fund projects for 8 years. The goal is for the centres to make a long-term research effort at a high international level. The research will solve identified challenges in renewable energy, energy efficiency, CO2 management and the social sciences.

NorthWind industry partners

  1. 4Subsea
  2. ABB
  3. Aker Offshore Wind
  4. Amon
  5. Aibel
  6. Baker Hughes
  7. Cognite
  8. DNV-GL
  9. Dr. Techn. Olav Olsen
  10. Dof Subsea Norway
  11. EDR Medeso
  12. Energi Norge
  13. Energy Innovation
  14. Equinor
  15. ESVAGT
  16. Finnmark Kraft
  17. Force Technology Norway
  18. Fred Olsen Renewables
  19. Fugro
  20. GFMS
  21. Hafslund Eco
  22. Havyard Design &Solutions
  23. Hitachi ABB Power Grids
  24. Impello
  25. Kongsberg Maritime
  26. Lundin Energy Norway
  27. Lloid's Register
  28. Nexans Norway
  29. NKT HV Cables
  30. National Oilwell Varco Norway
  31. NORWEP Norwegian Energy Partners
  32. Norconsult
  33. NorSea Group
  34. NORWEA
  35. Norwegian Offshore wind cluster
  36. RENERGY cluster
  37. SAP Norway
  38. Sogn og Fjordane Energi
  39. Statkraft
  40. Store Norske Spitsbergen Kullkompani
  41. Sval Energi
  42. Trønder Energi Kraft
  43. Vard Design
  44. Windcluster Norway