Lack of political will and start-up help makes it impossible to focus on offshore wind in Norway, says chairperson Wenche Teigland.
Vestavind Offshore’s Havsul is the only offshore wind project that has been granted a concession in Norway. The company was planning an offshore wind farm with 50-60 wind turbines off the coast of Møre, but is now throwing in the towel.
“New political intentions for investment in offshore wind came in 2008-2009, but we’re lacking the real tools to be able to realise the Havsul pilot project. [Renewable energy incentive company] Enova could have been one such tool, but it has no mandate or framework to provide what is needed,” says Wenche Teigland to Aftenbladet.
She adds that both the board and the owners are disappointed that realities do not match what is needed for efforts to be able to continue.
“The part of the industry that is oil-related today could get a new leg to stand on. Offshore wind power developments are now extremely rapid, whilst Norway let this chance pass. The train is now departing the platform, and we are not included, says Teigland.
In 2011, seven energy company-owned Vestavind Offshore had a NOK 59 million (about USD 10.5 million at today’s ROE) deficit. NOK 200 million (roughly USD 35.6 million) was invested in developing the project.
Wenche Teigland notes that the company still has the concession until 2020. She would not comment on how much of this has been lost.
“This was an innovation project. We win some of these types, but not all,” she declares. Vestavind Offshore is gradually being downsized when it comes to staffing.
It was planned that Havsul would produce 1 TWh (terawatt hour), or the equivalent consumption of 50,000 Norwegian households. The park is the same size as StatoilHydro/Statkraft’s new Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm off England.
Vestavind wooed the oil companies this summer to achieve cooperation for clean energy supply to Norwegian Continental Shelf oil installations. Now the company says reaching an agreement will take time, and has therefore put the Havsul project on hold.
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