(OW) Japanese utility Kansai Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) and Ingka Investments, the investment arm of Ingka Group, have joined the UtsiraVIND consortium, which will be bidding in the upcoming tender in Norway for the Utsira Nord area.
The UtsiraVIND consortium originated as a partnership between Odfjell Oceanwind, a Norwegian provider of floating offshore wind technologies, and Source Galileo, a European renewable energy platform, focusing on offshore wind development.
Now, the expanded consortium said it brings together proprietary technology in floating structures, electrical engineering, financial strength, and extensive offshore wind experience.
“We’re excited to partner and collaborate on UtsiraVIND and will be dedicated to promoting this project by dispatching our engineers to Norway”, said Mikio Matsumura, Senior Executive Vice President of Kansai.
The consortium will seek to progress its bid in the upcoming Utsira tender process to develop, build, and operate a floating wind farm on Utsira Nord using Odfjell Oceanwind’s proprietary solutions.
The Utsira Nord seabed is located 32 kilometres offshore in the North Sea where floating wind turbines are planned to be developed in water depths of 180 to 280 metres in the first round for a total capacity of 1.5 GW.
“The UtsiraVIND partnership is ideally placed to deliver a highly effective bid for the Utsira Nord tender. The operational expertise and financial strengths of Kansai and Ingka Investments will help us accelerate the achievement of offshore wind in Norway”, said Per Lund, CEO of Odfjell Oceanwind.
In March, Norway’s Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre and Oil and Energy Minister Terje Aasland officially opened the application window for Norway’s first offshore wind auction.
As reported earlier, the seabed leases for the Utsira Nord area will be awarded based on qualitative criteria, as opposed to the Southern North Sea II (Sørlige Nordsjø II) offshore wind areas, which will be awarded through a conventional competitive auction.
The award of the contracts for the Utsira Nord area will take place in September.
“This partnership is a further step to expand our investment activities to address climate footprint reduction well beyond our retail consumption, and into the IKEA value chain. We are looking forward to working closely with our Utsira partners to make a significant contribution to the Norwegian Government’s renewable energy goals,” said Frederik de Jong, Head of Renewable Energy at Ingka Investments.