Global offshore wind champion Orsted has joined an already existing joint venture between Fred Olsen Renewables (FOR) and Oslo utility Hafslund Eco to bid to build offshore wind farms in Norway’s upcoming hotly contested tender.

The trio will be equal partners in the consortium that will be applying for licenses in the up to 4.5GW allocation round for two areas – Utsira North and Southern North Sea 2 (Sørlige Nordsjø 2).

“This partnership is an important step for Orsted, as we expand our footprint in the Nordics,” Orsted chief commercial officer and deputy CEO Martin Neubert said.

“At the same time, we have made the strategic choice to drive the commercialisation of floating offshore wind to unlock the massive potential of the technology around the world where Norway can become a key market in Europe.”

Orsted so far has concentrated on bottom-fixed offshore wind, but in April said it plans its first foray into floating wind as part of its bid for the upcoming ScotWind seabed leasing round off Scotland. Rival Equinor is currently constructing the 88MW Hywind Tampen floating array off Norway, which will be the world’s largest once operations start late next year.

Equinor is also participating in the Norwegian offshore wind tender, with plans for a large floating array together with the Vårgrønn joint venture of Italian oil group Eni with Norwegian energy investment house HitecVision.

Orsted said it will compete both in floating and bottom-fixed in the Norwegian tender.

“We’re very happy to enter the Norwegian market for offshore wind with Fred. Olsen Renewables and Hafslund Eco, whose vast experience in renewable energy, power markets, the offshore wind supply chain and infrastructure makes them perfect partners for us,” said Rasmus Errboe, Head of Region Continental Europe at Orsted.

“The consortium has a very strong position to compete for both bottom-fixed and floating offshore wind in the areas expected to be tendered by the Norwegian government.”

Orsted, Fred. Olsen Renewables and Hafslund Eco plan to develop the Norwegian supply chain for a large-scale build-out of offshore wind in the Nordic country and the rest of Europe.

“Adding to the extensive experience within renewable energy, energy grids and offshore wind, possessed by Hafslund Eco and Fred. Olsen related companies, Orsted brings along the largest track record and competence in the world in developing local supply chains in this industry,” said Anette Olsen, managing director of Bonheur and owner of Fred. Olsen % Co.

“This has resulted in significant creation of new local green jobs within offshore wind. Fred. Olsen related companies have for years worked successfully with Orsted around the globe to develop strong supply chains for transport, installation, upgrades and maintenance of offshore wind turbines.

“With the addition of Orsted, the consortium has further strengthened its ability to successfully assist Norway to secure a sustainable and efficient way forward within offshore wind.”