General Electric expands offshore wind power activity in Norway

General Electric (GE) gives Norway a pivotal role in their strategy for offshore wind. The American company wants to create a new Offshore Technology Development Center in Oslo in addition to expanding its production of turbine demonstration units in Verdal.

“GE’s announcement is very good news for Norway. GE’s decision illustrates that we are an attractive country for investments with world-class offshore competence. I am pleased that Norway is a country where the industry and authorities can work together in developing the Norwegian wind industry,” says Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Riis-Johansen.

“Offshore wind is a market which is set to grow substantially over the coming years, and this opens up new possibilities for Norwegian industries. Norway has a know-how base which is unique within the offshore and maritime sectors and this competence has considerable relevance for the development within offshore wind. We welcome GE’s decision to invest in Norway, and I believe this will strengthen Norwegian industries in the competition for contracts internationally,” agrees Minister of Trade and Industry Trond Giske.

GE will establish an Offshore Technology Development Center in Oslo and expand its production of turbine demontration units in Verdal. Norway is also the planned site for testing and demonstration of GE’s offshore turbines. According to the company, the investments will amount to approximately NOK 600 million (€75 million) and 100 employees.

Facts about offshore wind in Norway:

Norway has made significant advances in offshore wind over the past two years, with several important events:

• A law proposal and strategy on offshore renewable power was finally approved by Parliament March 23.

• In order to boost research and technology development, the Government has significantly strengthened public support budgets and established new instruments, including two Centres for Environment-friendly Energy Research on offshore wind.

• Through public funding and Enova, it has been possible for Statoil to launch its full-scale floating wind turbine Hywind. Recently, Sway was awarded a project grant for the construction of a 10 MW turbine prototype.

• The Norwegian Guarantee Institute for Export Credits (GIEK) actively supports projects in the renewable energy sector, including projects offshore.

• The Norwegian companies Statoil and Statkraft have been chosen as developers of offshore wind projects in the United Kingdom.

• In September 2009, Vestavind Offshore was awarded a license for the Havsul I-project. Havsul I is the first large-scale offshore wind power project in Norway.

Source: Ministries of Trade & Industry and Petroleum & Energy

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