A competitive and green maritime value chain is needed to support offshore wind park operations. Today, The Norwegian Government awarded Maritime CleanTech partner Vard Group and the Ocean Charger project partners 38 million NOK for developing future offshore charging solutions for zero-emission operations.

SOV design by Vard, who leads the Ocean Charger project.

The Norwegian support scheme (The Green Platform Initiative) aims to accelerate the growth of green businesses in Norway. Today, Norwegian Minister of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, Jan Christian Vestre, launched the new project at a press conference in Oslo:

– We are carrying out the largest restructuring of the Norwegian economy ever. Everything will become greener. It is private companies that must lead the way in this transformation, with the public sector as a supporter, says Vestre.

Ocean Charger – transferring energy at sea

With offshore wind and zero-emission solutions in mind, Vard and its partners in the Ocean Charger project were a perfect fit. This project will develop a maritime value chain for offshore wind with offshore energy transfer.

With a strong consortium of industry and research partners, Vard will lead the way from research to testing, validation, and commercialization of new technological solutions for energy transfer to battery-powered ships offshore.

– We were thrilled to hear the news and glad to see that the importance of this project was recognized. The offshore wind industry is becoming increasingly important not only for the green energy transition but also for national value creation. With our leading team of experienced professionals, we will evaluate different solutions and business models supplying various offshore vessels with green energy. As this market is growing rapidly, we see a unique opportunity for Norway to be the leading provider, says Håvard Vollset Lien, VP of Research & Innovation in the Vard Group.

Håvard Vollset Lien, VP of Research & Innovation in the Vard Group.

In the coming years, a substantial new maritime infrastructure will be developed and built for the offshore wind industry in Norway. Based on the development for other segments, batteries have proven to be the most mature technology for zero or low-emission vessels. This technology constitutes the basis for developing the Ocean Charger project.

– Through this project, we will enable continuous zero-emission operations on the Norwegian continental shelf for the first time, says Maritime CleanTech Head of Innovation, Øystein Huglen.

By connecting vessels to the power grid in the wind farm and charging batteries regularly, the operational availability of emission-free vessel operations will be secured. The aim is to power operations at the field without using any additional energy sources.

A broad Research and Industry Partnership

The project will kick off in 2023, and the work will be performed over three years. Vard Design will lead the work together with sister companies Seaonics and Vard Electro, partners Rem Offshore, Solstad Offshore, SINTEF Energi, SINTEF Ocean, DigiCat, Sustainable Energy, Equinor, Source Energie, Corvus Energy, Plug, Shoreline, Marin Energi Testsenter, University of Bergen, Norce and Maritime CleanTech.