Equinor has signed a collaboration agreement with two renewables companies to develop offshore wind in the North Sea.
Along with RWE Renewables and Hydro REIN, the state owned energy giant will prepare and submit an application to the Norwegian authorities to develop a large-scale, bottom-fixed offshore wind farm in Sørlige Nordsjø II.
The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has opened up two areas for development – Utsira Nord and Sørlige Nordsjø II – and is currently working to draw up a licensing process for offshore wind power projects.
The area borders the Danish sector in the North Sea, making it “ideally located” for the supply of electricity to Europe.
The partnership between Equinor, RWE and Hydro brings together a “strong combination of experience and expertise” from offshore wind development, energy market insight and large-scale industrial project execution.
According to Equinor, the Sørlige Nordsjø II area has among the best wind resources in the world, with water depths between 53 and 70 meters.
The pair jointly worked on the 385 megawatt Arkona offshore wind farm in the German part of the Baltic Sea – it was successfully commissioned in 2019.
Equinor is also behind Hywind Scotland, the world’s first commercial floating offshore wind farm, located off the coast of Peterhead, north-east Scotland.
And with plans for Hywind Tampen, which would power nearby oil and gas operations, to start up in 2022, the Norwegian firm is on course to operate a third of floating offshore wind production worldwide.
Pål Eitrheim, Equinor’s executive vice president of new energy solutions, said: “The North Sea has among the world’s best wind resources.
“A large-scale offshore wind farm at Sørlige Nordsjø II could play a key role in expanding the North Sea as an offshore energy hub and create new industrial opportunities for Norway as an energy nation. Between Equinor, RWE, and Hydro we have the industrial capabilities, from the turbine to the consumer, to create value and supply renewable power to Europe.”
Anja-Isabel Dotzenrath, chief executive officer RWE Renewables, sadded: “Offshore wind is key for meeting the increasing demand for renewable power, supporting local industries and creating new, future-proof jobs. We will bring our 20 years of experience and expertise in the offshore industry together with our partners Equinor and Hydro to contribute in delivering Norway’s offshore wind ambitions.”
Arvid Moss, Hydro Energy’s executive vice president, said: “Offshore wind will be an important component in the future energy mix to decarbonize Europe and reach the 2050 targets.
“For Hydro, this cooperation is part of our strategy to diversify and explore growth opportunities in new energy. Through Hydro REIN, we bring our industrial capabilities and energy markets knowledge to the partnership, and we are happy to cooperate with RWE and Equinor. Together, we form a strong partnership for developing Sørlige Nordsjø II.”