Fishermen approve South Korea’s Equinor consortium offshore wind farm project

[Courtesy of Equinor ]

SEOUL – Fishermen have approved a renewable energy project pushed by Equinor, a Norwegian state-owned multinational energy company, and South Korean partners to build a 200-megawatt floating offshore wind farm that would use a gas platform useless as a substation to generate electricity. The consent of residents of fishing towns is considered a prerequisite for state authorization.

Equinor has formed a consortium with two state-owned companies – Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC) and Korea East-West Power – for the Donghae 1 offshore floating wind project near the KNOC gas field, some 58 kilometers (36 miles) east of the southeast industrial port city of Ulsan. The consortium would reuse the gas rig shell substructure, which is a steel frame supporting the deck and tops.

A fishermen’s association handed over a consent form supporting the Donghae 1 project at a ceremony on August 10, Equinor’s South Korea subsidiary said in a statement, adding that the consortium would gain momentum to secure the final state authorization, which is a major step in promoting the installation of a floating offshore wind farm. The project passed a preliminary feasibility study conducted by a national think tank in May.

Equinor, which operates Hywind Scotland, the world’s first commercial floating offshore wind farm commissioned in 2017 off the Scottish coast, has helped build two large floating wind farms off Ulsan. On August 5, the fishermen approved the company’s independent “Firefly” project to install an 800-megawatt wind farm by 2026 and agreed to form an advisory body on how to compensate and cooperate to achieve the state authorization.

As part of its green energy campaign to expand the use of renewable energy, South Korea is actively pushing for offshore wind farms. Compared to fixed offshore wind farms which are typically installed in shallow water, floating wind turbines located in deep water can reduce visual pollution, provide better accommodation for fishing and shipping lanes, and achieve stronger winds and more constant.

Floating wind farm systems do not require as much space as other clean power generation facilities. However, fishermen believe that offshore wind farms can reduce their operating radius.

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