Big news in renewable energy production: The world’s largest floating wind farm has just successfully produced its first power.

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Equinor, a Norwegian energy firm, announced that last weekend its first wind turbine at its Hywind Tampen floating wind farm began power production. While that sounds very green, the point is to provide electricity for the Snorre and Gullfaks oil and gas fields, which are located in the Norwegian North Sea. Equinor is known for its work in the oil and gas industry.

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“I am proud that we have now started production at Hywind Tampen, Norway’s first and the world’s largest floating wind farm,” said Geir Tungesvik, Equinor’s executive vice president for projects, drilling and procurement. “This is a unique project, the first wind farm in the world powering producing oil and gas installations.”

The wind farm is about 87 miles off the coast of Norway. Equinor plans to get seven of Hywind Tampen’s turbines spinning by the end of this year. The company aims to install four more turbines in 2023, for a total capacity of 88 megawatts.

The turbines are predicted to meet about 35% of the electricity demand for Gullfaks and Snorre. “This will cut CO2 emissions from the fields by about 200,000 tons per year,” the company said in a statement.

Of course, using a wind farm to produce fossil fuels is not everybody’s idea of a reason to celebrate. Burning coal, oil and gas is one of the main drivers of climate change.

At the COP27 summit in Egypt last week, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned the audience, “We are in the fight of our lives, and we are losing. Greenhouse gas emissions keep growing, global temperatures keep rising, and our planet is fast approaching tipping points that will make climate chaos irreversible.”

So, kudos to Equinor for success with its floating wind farm. But not so much for powering oil and gas fields.


Lead image via Equinor