Norwegian Government issues update on schedule for Utsira Nord

Friday 22 March 2024, the Norwegian government issued an update on the schedule for the administrative procedure regarding the award of the much-anticipated Utsira Nord floating offshore wind area.

The new roadmap for the award is that the government now will announce the call for tenders tender for Utsira Nord during 2025, together with the three new areas that are set to be opened by then (Sørvest F, Vestavind B and Vestavind F). Vestavind F is an extension of Utsira Nord. It remains to be seen if this delay thus means that a larger area will be opened at Utsira Nord, or whether the Government will limit the opening in 2025 to the original Utsira Nord area.

The delay is caused by the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) requiring notification and approval of the state aid scheme and qualitative criteria contained in the call for tenders. More specifically, ESA has had concerns on the design of the call for tenders, where tenderers are to be assessed exclusively based on qualitative criteria, including contributions to local ripple effects and local content.

Haavind would like to stress the importance of predictability for potential tenderers and designing the call for tenders in a way that realistically can receive approval from ESA, in order to be able to start development of Utsira Nord and the nascent floating wind industry, with great potential in many layers of the supply chain.

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