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May 26, 2021

Equinor, RWE and Hydro plan for offshore wind farm in North Sea

Equinor, RWE and Hydro REIN team up to bid for offshore wind farm development in the North Sea.

By Umesh Ellichipuram

Norwegian energy firm Equinor has signed a collaboration agreement with German company RWE Renewables and Hydro REIN for a large-scale offshore wind farm.

The companies will jointly prepare and submit an application to the Norwegian authorities to develop the farm.

The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has earmarked two areas, namely Utsira Nord and Sørlige Nordsjø II, in the North Sea for the development of 4.5GW offshore wind farms with floating and bottom-fixed wind turbines.

The Ministry plans to hold its first tender for the licences later this year.

The three firms plan to develop a bottom-fixed offshore wind farm at the Sørlige Nordsjø II area, which borders the Danish area of the North Sea.

The firms have not yet provided details about the size of the project.

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With water depths of between 53m and 70m, the Sørlige Nordsjø II area is believed to have the potential to offer significant amounts of renewable energy to countries looking to transform their energy mix.

The European Union and the UK have each unveiled aims to achieve 300GW and 100GW offshore wind capacity respectively by 2050 in order to reach their net-zero goals.

Equinor, RWE and Hydro believe that they have the complementary capabilities and expertise to build large-scale offshore wind farms.

RWE and Equinor have experience in developing large offshore wind infrastructure projects, while Hydro holds experience in large-scale project execution, industrialisation and power market optimisation.

Equinor executive vice president for New Energy Solutions Pål Eitrheim 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.”

RWE Renewables CEO Anja-Isabel Dotzenrath said: “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 to delivering Norway’s offshore wind ambitions.”

Earlier this month, Equinor announced plans to build a 900MW gas-fired power plant with carbon capture technology (CCS) at Peterhead, Scotland, together with SSE Thermal.

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