Norway-based energy company Equinor and Polish energy firm Polenergia have secured contracts for difference (CfD) for two offshore wind projects in Poland.

Poland’s Energy Regulatory Office (ERO) awarded the contracts for the Bałtyk II and Bałtyk III projects under the first phase of the country’s offshore wind development scheme.

The CfDs were given at PLN319.60 ($83.85) for each MWh for a period of up to 25 years. They are subject to some adjustments and final approval from Polish authorities and the European Commission.

With a combined potential capacity of 1440MW, the two projects are said to be among the first in Poland to secure these awards.

In 2018, Equinor acquired a 50% interest in the Bałtyk II and Bałtyk III projects from Polenergia. The company later acquired a 50% interest in the early-phase Bałtyk I project from Polenergia.

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Construction works at the two sites are expected to begin as early as 2024, subject to the final investment decision from Equinor and Polenergia and with all necessary agreements and permits.

Equinor will operate the projects through their development, construction and operation phases.

Upon completion, the wind facilities will generate enough clean energy to power two million Polish homes.

Equinor New Energy Solutions executive vice-president Pål Eitrheim said: “The CfD awards to the Bałtyk II and Bałtyk III projects represent a breakthrough for Equinor in Poland and support the country’s ambitions to transform its energy mix.

“The full-scale development of the two projects will constitute an offshore wind hub in the Baltic Sea. It will create industrial activity and jobs to support the Polish economy, and supply low-cost renewable electricity to Polish homes and businesses.”

According to the CfDs, the two projects will be included in the first phase of Poland’s offshore wind development plan.

Poland has set a target to develop 5.9GW of offshore wind by 2030 and up to 11GW by 2040.

Last May, Equinor and SSE Renewables finalised the operations and maintenance (O&M) base for the Dogger Bank offshore wind farm at the port of Tyne, UK.

The O&M base, which was constructed with a multi-million-pound investment, would feature office space and a warehouse and serve as the onshore base for Equinor’s teams.