The flagship of 11 floating wind power units that will form the world’s first-ever offshore oil & gas decarbonisation project – the 88MW Hywind Tampen – is in tow to its site in the deep waters off western Norway.

Made up of an 8MW Siemens Gamesa turbine and spar-type hull from Aker Solutions, the units will together provide enough power to reduce emissions by 35% from Equinor’s Snorre-Gullfaks field, located in 260-300 metres of water 140km offshore in the North Sea.

Once at the project site, the Hywind Tampen units, which are being assembled by Wergeland, will be plugged into inter-array cables from JDR installed earlier by Subsea 7.

Equinor built the first commercial floating wind farm, the 30MW Hywind Scotland started up in 2017, and, as the company's senior vice president of new energies Beate Myking told Recharge recently in an exclusive interview, this latest project is one a number of global “stepping stones” to development of utility-scale pure-play arrays of 500MW and larger.