Eni is to offload its stakes in the 3.6GW Dogger Bank offshore wind project to its Norwegian clean energy venture Vårgrønn.
Formed in 2020, Vårgrønn is a joint venture between Eni’s green energy subsidiary Plenitude and Norwegian private equity investor HitecVision and is led by former Statkraft offshore wind head Olav Hetland.
The company sits alongside the two investors’ other hydrocarbons-focused business, Var Energi.
As part of the new agreement, Vårgrønn will acquire Plenitude’s 20% share of the Dogger Bank scheme, in addition to Plenitude’s other “early-stage initiatives” in the joint venture’s key markets.
At the same time, HitecVision will increase its ownership share in Vårgrønn from 30.4% to 35% through the transaction, while Plenitude will retain the remaining 65%.
The value of the acquisition and the updated equity arrangement was not disclosed.
Billed as the world’s largest offshore wind farm, the 3.6GW Dogger Bank project is being developed across three equally sized stages – A, B and C – off the coast of Yorkshire in the UK.
Eni acquired 20% stakes in A and B, as part of a 2020 deal with project developers SSE Renewables (40%), Equinor (40%) worth more than £400 million.
It later acquired shares in Dogger Bank C in December in a £140million deal, with equity split along the same lines.
Vårgrønn said the acquisition of Eni’s shares will give it access to “the most mature area for offshore wind globally” and add 720MW of net capacity to its portfolio.
Outside of the UK, the company is poised to play in the Norwegian offshore wind market as part of consortia bidding for several upcoming license rounds, including Utsira Nord and Sørlige Nordsjø II.
At Utsira Nord, Vårgrønn has entered into a collaboration agreement with Equinor.
At Sørlige Nordsjø II, it will bid alongside Corio Generation (formerly Green Investment Group) and the Norwegian utility Agder Energi.
The company intends to reach 5 GW of installed and sanctioned offshore wind capacity by 2030 across the Northern European market.
HitecVision senior partner and head of investment team, Erlend Basmo Ellingsen, said: “This is a strategic transaction for HitecVision, expanding our relationship with our long-term partner Eni by creating an international offshore wind player in line with our strategy of building successful companies to support the transition to net zero.”
Plenitude CEO Stefano Goberti, added: “With this agreement, Plenitude strengthens its footprint in the offshore wind space consistently with its target of reaching 15 GW of renewable capacity by 2030.”
“Our long-term partnership with HitecVision has proven able to create significant value. By expanding Vårgrønn, we aim to raise a focused and financially independent development platform with a diversified portfolio of assets in the Northern Europe and with the capacity to rapidly build scale in the offshore wind market that is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years.”