Equinor and Eni have announced a plan to collaborate on the development of floating offshore wind plants in the North Sea as part of their expansion within renewable energy production. The Norwegian government has earmarked two areas in the North Sea for developing 4.5 GW of floating and bottom-fixed wind turbine capacity and plans. A discussion is set to take place in the Norwegian parliament by next month.

Equinor reported that it partnered with Vaargroenn, a joint venture between Eni and  Norway’s HitecVision, to apply for offshore wind acreage at Utsira Vord, one of the two areas promoted by the government. The company further reported that the North Sea has some of the world’s best wind resources and that a floating offshore wind farm at Utsira Nord could be the next project at scale to drive industrialisation and create new opportunities for Norway.

Floating wind farms are more expensive to develop than turbines that are fixed to the seabed but can be located in deeper waters. According to analysts, developing floating offshore wind power in Norway remains unprofitable without subsidies.  Equinor already operates one such facility off the coast of Scotland and is building a pilot project in Norway. Vaargroenn also announced that it partnered with southern Norwegian utility Agder Energi to seek offshore wind acreage in Norway.