A Norwegian oil & gas sector spin-off pioneering the rental of mobile floating wind power platforms has signed a deal with turbine giant Siemens Gamesa and its parent Siemens Energy to harness their technologies for its units, which aim to help decarbonise offshore hydrocarbon production.

Odfjell Oceanwind, formed by drilling outfit Odfjell via an investment last year in Oceanwind AS, signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Siemens Gamesa over the use of its 11MW and 14MW turbines on its semisubmersible floating foundations, and with Siemens Energy on use of its energy storage and power control technology.

The three plan to work together on mobile floating wind platforms that can be deployed on a rental basis for use in microgrids where the power source would usually be a fossil fuel such as diesel, with first units operational by 2024.

That includes deployments by the oil & gas sector, which often need time-limited power supplies for a particular operation such as drilling.

The fossil fuel sector is increasingly under pressure to decarbonise its operations to help meet corporate net zero goals, with ‘permanent’ floating wind already seen as part of the solution at Equinor’s pioneering Hywind Tampen project off Norway, which itself will use Siemens Gamesa turbines.

Odfjell Oceanwind claims its semi-submersible platform is “qualified for some of the harshest areas in the world” as it builds on technologies developed for deep-sea oil & gas work by sister company Odfjell drilling.

'Fast track to emissions reduction'

The company’s CEO Per Lund said: “Odfjell Oceanwind is on a fast track development to build a rental fleet of floating mobile wind units with a potential to contribute to the oil and gas industry’s emission reduction targets faster than any other available technology.

“The cooperation with both Siemens Gamesa and Siemens Energy gives us access to world-leading and proven solutions for wind turbines, energy storage, as well as solutions for power and integration to the host platforms.”

Marc Becker, Siemens Gamesa offshore CEO, added: “We’re energised by the chance to help develop mobile offshore wind units with Odfjell Oceanwind and Siemens Energy, and the far-reaching opportunities these units could provide.”

Floating wind is viewed as one of the key technologies set to take renewables to the next level in the energy transition.

Floating wind power projects totalling more than 26GW are on track to be turning by 2035, according to latest figures from Quest FWE, with the fleet expected to grow “exponentially” as the first wave of utility-scale developments now taking shape internationally are boosted by transitioning oil companies and ever-improving economics.