Norwegian energy firms Statoil and Statkraft have bought a wind farm project off the coast of Norfolk.
But the firms have warned its viability would depend on the UK Government’s commitment to renewables.
The two firms, to varying degrees owned by the Norwegian state, have bought the Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm project through the acquisition of all shares in Dudgeon Offshore Wind (DOW), a subsidiary of the UK energy company Warwick Energy.
The move follows on from Statoil and Statkraft working together on the Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm, also off the coast of Norfolk.
Statoil said DOW could create hundreds of jobs during its construction.
However, Statkraft senior vice president, offshore wind power, Olav Hetland, said: “Final investment will be dependent on an appropriate regulatory framework and continued commitment from the UK Government to increase the share of renewables in the energy mix.”
The project, recently given offshore planning consent, would see up to 560 megawatts of wind capacity built about 32 km offshore north of Cromer, about 20 km north east of the Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm.
Statoil will hold a 70% share and Statkraft 30% – a value of the deal was undisclosed.
Siri Kindem, Statoil senior vice president, renewable energy, said: “Warwick Energy has successfully progressed the technical and commercial basis for an offshore wind farm at Dudgeon and brought the opportunity close to a fully consented project. Statoil and Statkraft will now take this work forward.”
John Hayes, energy minister in the UK Government, said: “Energy is central to our economic recovery. I am delighted that these major global industry players have shown the confidence to invest in the UK’s world-leading offshore wind market.
“This inward investment by Statoil and Statkraft furthers our energy relationship with Norway, will create hundreds of jobs, and enhance UK energy security.”
The license for the Dudgeon site was awarded by the UK Government during the Round 2 offshore wind allocation round in 2003.
Statoil and Statkraft, together with RWE and SSE, are also partners in the Forewind consortium.
This is working on the Dogger Bank project, 120 km off the UK east coast, potentially the world’s largest offshore wind development.