(Updates with Orsted joining Fred. Olsen Renewables/Hafslund Eco consortium)
OSLO, June 9 (Reuters) - Norway has earmarked two areas in the North Sea to accommodate up to 4.5 gigawatt (GW) of floating and bottom-fixed wind turbine capacity and will identify additional offshore areas for development amid strong interest from energy firms.
Utsira Nord, an area of 1,000 square km (386.1 square miles), is located northwest of the oil industry capital Stavanger and is seen as suitable for floating wind power.
Soerlige Nordsjoe II, some 2,590 square km and bordering the Danish sector of the North Sea, is suitable for bottom-fixed wind power turbines.
Companies and joint ventures likely to participate include the following:
Denmark’s Orsted has formed a consortium with Fred. Olsen Renewables, a subsidiary of Bonheur and utility Hafslund-Eco, which plans to jointly develop offshore wind in both areas.
Equinor will seek acreage in both areas. It is planning a bid with Eni renewables unit Vaargroenn for a floating offshore wind farm at Utsira North and has teamed up with Germany’s RWE and Norsk Hydro for a planned wind farm at Soerlige Nordsjoe II.
Germany’s EnBW and several Norwegian partners, including wholesale and retail food supplier Norgesgruppen, have announced the Norseman Consortia initiative to develop a 1.4 GW wind farm in the Soerlige Nordsjoe II area.
Aker Offshore Wind AOW-ME.OL is planning the 0.5 GW Vestavindar project at Utsira Nord and the 1.2 GW Soennavindar project at Soerlige Nordsjoe II. It has entered a partnership with top utility Statkraft to develop the latter site.
Italy’s Eni and Norway’s HitecVision have formed the Vaargroenn joint venture and seek acreage at Soerlige Nordsjoe II together with utility Agder Energi .
Magnora and TechnipFMC plan to bid for a site at Utsira Nord through their Magnora Offshore Wind partnership.
Deep Wind Offshore, a joint venture of shipping company Knutsen OAS and utilities Haugaland Kraft and Sunnhordland Kraftlag, plans projects for both sites.
Seagust, a joint venture by industrial investment firms Arendals Fossekompani (AFK) and Ferd, is considering bids for both areas.
A joint venture of offshore supply firm NorSea, majority owned by shipping firm Wilhemsen, and Belgian offshore wind development firm Parkwind has said it plans to apply for licences in both areas.
Shell has said it is considering a participation in the tenders and that its sees large potential in Norwegian offshore wind. (Reporting by Nora Buli; Editing by Barbara Lewis and Jan Harvey)