Norway’s METCentre, a floating wind test center, has just signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Portuguese offshore wind player WavEC.
WavEC provides commercial services for wind farm developers and is a shareholder of the Aguçadoura test site, which has been a central testing area in the development of offshore renewable technologies.
The MOU was signed after Norway´s offshore wind organization, Norwegian Offshore Wind, visited the Portuguese government and industry representatives earlier this month. Norwegian Offshore Wind represents more than 360 companies and is responsible for the METCentre.
“This year, the Portuguese market has really picked up the speed to what appears to become a grand take-off. At the same time, we in Norway are moving forward with our offshore wind projects. Our two countries have many similarities that call for a close collaboration between offshore wind companies, and this MOU is an important first step,” said Arvid Nesse, manager of METCentre and Norwegian Offshore Wind.
“They are central in RDI projects on offshore wind that could give Norwegian companies a platform for demonstrating and testing their solutions in the Atlantic Sea. METCentre and WavEC have both leading testing and demonstration assets with different environments, oceans, and weather features. These assets enable great synergies between the two test sites, says Nesse.
Portugal has recently set a target of 10 GW capacity of offshore wind by 2030.
“The Norwegian supply chain is gaining access to substantial commercial opportunities in this emerging market, and an MOU like this really opens doors,” says Einar Tollaksvik, who is heading up the working group for the Portuguese market in Norwegian Offshore Wind.
The Portuguese authorities have now started a round of consultations on areas (Marine space) that are set aside for offshore wind: Viana do Castelo, Leixões, Figueira da Foz, Ericeira-Cascais and Sines. The auction is expected to take place in autumn 2023. The Norwegian auction for Utsira Nord and Sørlige Nordsjø II is expected to open by the end of March.
Marco Alves, CEO at WavEC said: “In this context of strong commitment of Norway and Portugal in the development of offshore renewables, where floating wind energy will play a major role, we are very excited about exploring existing synergies together with METCentre. We will jointly work on projects of common interest, where we can promote the sharing of knowledge, experiences, and competencies in a culture of collaboration that we believe to be essential to accelerate the development of the sector and, eventually, the pace of the energy transition.”