Equinor, RWE Renewables and Hydro REIN have signed a collaboration agreement for offshore wind in Norway. The partners will jointly prepare and submit an application to the Norwegian authorities to develop a large-scale bottom-fixed offshore wind farm in the Sørlige Nordsjø II area in the Norwegian North Sea.
The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has opened two areas for offshore renewables (Utsira Nord and Sørlige Nordsjø II) and is currently working on the licensing process for offshore wind power projects in Norway. The area borders the Danish sector in the North Sea and is ideally located for supply of electricity to Europe.
The partnership between Equinor, RWE and Hydro represents a strong combination of experience and expertise from offshore wind development, energy market insight and large-scale industrial project execution. Together, the three companies have the complimentary capabilities as well as experience needed to develop a large-scale offshore wind farm at Sørlige Nordsjø II.
“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,” says Pål Eitrheim, Equinor’s executive vice president New Energy Solutions .
Anja-Isabel Dotzenrath, chief executive officer RWE Renewables, says: “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.”
“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,” says Arvid Moss, Hydro Energy’s executive vice president.
The Sørlige Nordsjø II area has among the best wind resources in the world with water depths between 53 and 70 meters. The area has a potential to deliver a significant amount of renewable energy to countries aiming to transform their energy mix, following EU’s and the UK’s stated ambitions for 300 GW and 100 GW respectively of offshore wind capacity by 2050 to reach their net zero ambitions.
Both Equinor and RWE have strong track records in developing large offshore wind infrastructure projects and operate them efficiently while achieving the highest standards in safety. They have jointly developed the 385-megawatt Arkona offshore wind farm in the German part of the Baltic Sea. This was successfully commissioned in 2019 and is delivering sustainable renewable electricity for the equivalent of 400,000 German households.
With its world-wide industrial operations, top-three position on renewable power production in Norway and large-scale power market activity in the Nordics and Brazil, Hydro’s participation in the partnership brings extensive experience in large-scale project execution, industrialization, and power market optimization. Hydro has over the last years been one of the world’s largest corporate buyers of renewable power, and it has been central in shaping commercial concepts which has contributed to wind power development in Norway and Sweden. Hydro’s participation in the partnership will be organized through its newly established company for renewables development, Hydro REIN.