Plans for World’s Largest Floating Wind Farm

Consortium announces 200MW Donghae 1

Plans for the world’s largest floating wind farm have been advanced by a consortium of energy companies, paving the way for large-scale roll-out of the offshore technology.

The consortium, composed of Norwegian energy firm Equinor, Korea National Oil Corp. (KNOC) and the Korean power company Korea East-West Power (EWP), proposed to develop a floating offshore wind project near Ulsan in South Korea.

“If we succeed in realizing the project, the Donghae floating offshore wind project will be the world’s biggest floating wind farm, more than twice the size of Hywind Tampen on the Norwegian continental shelf,” said Stephen Bull, senior vice president of New Energy Solutions at Equinor.

Increased Competitiveness

The proposed Donghae 1 project is expected to be a prototype for wider development of floating turbines, spurring new breakbulk demand and challenges.

“We are very pleased to be member of the partnership involved in realising the first floating offshore wind farm in Asia ... A floating offshore wind farm of this size will help further increase the competitiveness of floating offshore wind power in the future,” Bull added.

At present the consortium partners are conducting a feasibility study and pending the results of this effort aims to start constructing the floating offshore wind farm in 2022, with possible power production start-up in 2024.

Industry analysts were positive on the announcement, suggesting that it is an indicator for future commercial viability and a potential boost to offshore cargo volumes, as ever larger farms are  developed.
"This announcement further supports the growth of offshore wind in Asia Pacific … It will also signal to the market, the commercial viability of such projects, and boost the growth of offshore wind as floating offshore wind enables access to more offshore sites, and opens up potential new opportunities in other regional markets outside East Asia,” said Robert Liew, senior analyst at research firm Wood Mackenzie.

Majority-owned by the Norwegian government, Equinor is ranked as the 11th-largest oil and gas company but following extensive rebranding in 2018 has set about refocusing on on renewable energy and low carbon solutions. The firm employs around 23,000 staff in 36 countries.
Photo: Wind turbines. Credit: Equinor