Exploring the Top Offshore Wind Projects of 2024

8 min

Projected to reach more than $56 billion by 2026 , a CAGR of over 12% from the $31 billion r...

NES Fircroft

By NES Fircroft

Projected to reach more than $56 billion by 2026 , a CAGR of over 12% from the $31 billion recorded in 2021, the global offshore wind energy market continues to grow significantly. To highlight the positive outlook for this area of the renewable energy industry, we've decided to explore some of the top offshore wind projects of 2024.

Giving you an overview of some of the top projects to note in 2023 and 2024, we'll explore the likes of the Hywind Tampen Offshore wind farm, Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project, Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm and the Seagreen Offshore wind energy project.

In this guide, we'll explore the following offshore wind projects:  

  • Hywind Tampen Offshore Wind Farm
  • Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project
  • Saint-Brieuc Offshore Wind Farm
  • Seagreen Offshore Wind Energy Project

Hywind Tampen Offshore Wind Farm

First on our list of the top offshore wind energy projects to highlight in 2024 is the Hywind Tampen offshore wind farm. It is a testament to innovation within the wind energy space, marking the initiation of the world's first floating wind farm designed exclusively to power offshore oil and gas installations. 

Located in the Norwegian North Sea, roughly 140 km off the coast, the Hywind Tampen offshore wind project is spearheaded by a consortium of industry leaders, including Equinor, Petoro, OMV, Var Energi, Wintershall Dea, and INPEX Idemitsu Norge AS.

Operational since the third quarter of 2022 and achieving full functionality in the summer of 2023, Hywind Tampen boasts a system capacity of 88 megawatts (MW), making it not only the world's first but also the largest floating offshore wind farm to date. This capacity is a significant milestone for Equinor, overseeing nearly half (47%) of the world's offshore floating wind capacity. 

The 11 upgraded wind turbines, each with a capacity of 8 to 8.6 MW, are pivotal in supplying electricity to Equinor's Snorre and Gullfaks oil and gas fields. Their innovative approach of utilising floating concrete spar structures anchored in water depths between 260 and 300 metres sets the stage for further developments in floating wind technology. 

This experimental platform will explore the integration of new and larger turbines, simplified moorings, concrete substructures, and the synergy between gas and wind power generation systems.

Hywind Tampen is not just a technological marvel; it's a beacon for environmental responsibility. The wind farm is forecasted to meet approximately 35% of the annual electricity demand for the Gullfaks A, B, and C and Snorre A and B platforms. This translates into a substantial reduction in the use of gas turbine power for these offshore fields, mitigating 200,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions and 1,000 tonnes of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions annually.

Additionally, the Norwegian government's commitment to fostering offshore wind energy is evident in its support for Hywind Tampen. Enova, alongside the Norwegian Business Sector's NoX fund, has contributed NOK 2.3 billion (over £170 million) and NOK 566 million (over £42 million) to support technology developments and emission reductions within offshore wind energy.

As Norway's first offshore wind farm, Hywind Tampen embodies the nation's ambition to generate 30 GW of offshore wind by 2040. By integrating renewable power production in the Norwegian market, this project is paving the way for a sustainable energy future while offering new industrial opportunities for Norway and its burgeoning offshore wind energy sector.

Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project

Spearheaded by US energy organisation Dominion Energy, another project worth highlighting is the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project. CVOW is poised to be the largest offshore wind project in the US, putting it at the forefront of the next generation of carbon-free energy. Once fully operational in 2026, the project will have a capacity of 8.8 million MW and will generate enough clean and sustainable energy to power as many as 660,000 Virginia homes annually.

Approved by the Biden-Harris administration on October 31 2023, with construction expected to commence in 2024, CVOW will comprise 176 wind turbines and three offshore substations. Emerging as a crucial player in the journey towards a cleaner energy landscape by tapping into wind power, the project is anticipated to contribute significantly to carbon reduction, avoiding emissions equivalent to removing 1 million cars from the roads annually

With a commitment to combat climate change, CVOW is helping to pioneer Dominion Energy's goal of achieving net zero carbon and methane emissions by 2050. Beyond its environmental impact, CVOW could support diversifying the energy supply for consumers, ensuring energy reliability and security while lowering fuel costs.

Located around 27 miles off the Virginia Beach shores, the project serves as a catalyst for transforming the local economy and beyond. By attracting economic development opportunities, CVOW is set to create hundreds of high-paying offshore wind jobs in the renewable energy sector, generate millions in tax revenues, and contribute hundreds of millions in economic benefits annually.

In essence, Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind is not just a project; it's a transformative force shaping the future of clean and sustainable energy, setting new standards for environmental responsibility, economic growth, and energy innovation. As we look ahead to 2024 and beyond, CVOW stands as a beacon of progress in the quest for a greener and more sustainable tomorrow.

Visit our page dedicated to the Inflation Reduction Act and learn more about the $400 billion investment made by the US to support the creation of 200+ clean energy projects and 170,000 renewable energy jobs.

Saint-Brieuc Offshore Wind Farm

Another contender for the biggest renewable energy projects in 2023, the Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm is a groundbreaking wind energy project fore fronted by global energy leaders Iberdrola and developed by Ailes Marines - part of the Iberdrola-owned consortium.

When fully operational at the end of 2023, the Saint-Brieuc project will become the first large-scale offshore wind project in Brittany, France and the country's second offshore wind power project. This ambitious endeavour marks a significant leap towards harnessing the region's abundant wind resources to power the nation's future.

Brittany is known for having a landscape shaped by strong winds and high tides, inspiring Iberdrola to explore and tap into the region's full energy potential. Their strategic vision for the Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm has secured all the necessary government permits for construction and operation to make this visionary project a milestone for Brittany and one of the first of its kind in France.

With investments by Iberdrola of 2.4 billion euros, the Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm is forecasted to produce a total installed capacity of 496 MW. This capacity, stemming from 62 turbines, each generating 8 MW of wind power, will be placed across an expansive surface covering an area of 75 kmsq; situated approximately 16 km off the coast of France. 

A core aspect of the project is its environmental stewardship, spearheaded by technical analyses and the installation of three wind measuring systems. These systems utilise laser imaging detection and range (LIDAR) to fully understand the potential wind power in the area. The purpose of this sophisticated technology was to accurately determine the wind direction at the farm's location, ensuring the turbines' orientation allows for maximum energy efficiency.

Responding to the environmental analyses, Ailes Marines made informed decisions to ensure harmony with marine life and fishing activities, showcasing a commitment to responsible and sustainable construction practices. They've done so by abandoning the pile-driving technique and instead turning to the drilling technique for pile installation - methods that align with the normal life cycle of the fish species studied in the environmental analysis.  

Construction on the Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm has been carried out in phases, with the first conducted between May and October 2021. This phase prioritised the northern part of the project, allowing uninterrupted fishing activities in the southern region. Construction on the other stages continued throughout 2022 and 2023.

By July 2023, Saint-Brieuc achieved a momentous milestone - connecting the first of its wind turbines to the French power grid. This marked the inception of the first clean energy production through an offshore wind farm in Brittany, a historic feat for the region. The gradual connection of all 62 wind turbines is anticipated to transform the territory of Cotes-D'Armor into a positive energy municipality, generating more electricity than it consumes. 

This accomplishment by Iberdrola and Ailes Marines signifies technological progress, positioning Saint-Brieuc as a significant pillar of sustainable energy for the region and beyond.

Seagreen Offshore Wind Energy Project

Positioned approximately 27 km off the coast of Angus in the North Sea, the Seagreen offshore project is now Scotland's largest offshore wind farm. A testament to the country's commitment to renewable energy, this operational marvel has been developed in joint partnership with TotalEnergies (51%) and SSE Renewables (49%). Not only is this Scotland's largest offshore wind farm, but it also claims the title of the world's deepest fixed-bottom foundation.

Seagreen has 114 wind turbines generating a total capacity of 1,075 MW. After producing its first power in August 2022, the wind farm became fully operational in October 2023. The project's impressive scale translates into providing clean energy to over 1.6 million households, a major stride toward Scotland's net zero targets by 2045.

Beyond mere numbers, Seagreen is a force that positively impacts the environment, displacing more than 2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. This significant reduction, equivalent to removing over a third of Scotland's annual car emissions, underscores the project's substantial contribution to mitigating climate change.

The £3 billion venture supports up to 141 renewable energy jobs at the Port of Nigg in Tain near Inverness and is also bolstering the Scottish Highlands with a rise in green jobs. Seagreen's operations and maintenance (O&M) base located at Montrose Port is a focal point for job creation, with around 80 full-time operational roles and additional indirect roles, with specialised contractors contributing to the wind farm's lifecycle.

From the assembling, storage, and logistics of the offshore wind turbine foundations to the installation of Vestas V164-10 MW turbines, Seagreen is a driver of local economic development. For example, Angus contracting firm Pert-Bruce, which was involved in constructing the O&M base, created up to 30 new jobs. They've also committed to ensuring around 10% of their workforce as apprentices, contributing to the growth of the next generation of renewables talent in the region.

With its dedication to clean energy production, carbon reduction, and local economic development, Seagreen has set a high standard for offshore wind projects worldwide. As Scotland's largest operational offshore wind farm, Seagreen is powering over a million homes and creating plenty of job opportunities to drive a green economic recovery and support a resilient and sustainable future.

Final thoughts on the top offshore wind projects

The top offshore wind projects of 2024 highlighted in this piece represent remarkable strides in the renewable energy sector, each contributing uniquely to a sustainable future. From the pioneering Hywind Tampen, the world's largest floating offshore wind farm, to the transformative impact of the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project, set to be the largest in the US, these ventures exemplify innovation and environmental responsibility.

Additionally, the Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm also represents France's commitment to harnessing wind resources, incorporating cutting-edge technology and sustainable practices. Meanwhile, Scotland's Seagreen offshore wind energy project claims;the nation's largest offshore wind farm title. It demonstrates a significant commitment to job creation, economic development, and carbon reduction.

These offshore wind projects not only provide clean energy solutions but also set new standards for environmental stewardship, economic growth, and energy innovation on a global scale. The collective impact of these projects reflects a concerted effort towards a greener and more sustainable future that goes into 2024 and beyond. 

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