Vattenfall has reached an agreement to offload the UK Norfolk offshore wind zone, comprising three projects, to RWE for an enterprise value of £963m ($1.2bn).

This will allow the continued development of its three wind farms – Norfolk Vanguard West, Norfolk Vanguard East and Norfolk Boreas – each with a planned power-generating capacity of 1.4GW. Together, the projects can power four million British homes.

The Norfolk Zone is situated 50–80km offshore the east of England. With a combined capacity of 4.2GW, it is one of the largest offshore wind development sites in the world.

The projects have secured seabed rights, grid connections, development consent orders and all other key permits after 13 years of development.

Norfolk Vanguard West and Norfolk Vanguard East are the most advanced projects, with procurement for most key components completed, while Norfolk Boreas has been halted.

The next milestone in their development is to secure a contract for difference in one of the upcoming auction rounds.

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Once the deal is closed, RWE will continue developing the Norfolk Boreas project.

All three will begin operations in the 2020s.

Vattenfall’s decision to divest the assets is part of its strategy to focus on projects that better match its risk profile.

The sale to RWE ensures a secure future for the Norfolk projects’ progression while allowing Vattenfall to reverse its earlier reported impairments and provisions.

Vattenfall remains committed to offshore development, highlighted by its recent collaboration with BASF on the 1.5GW Nordlicht cluster in Germany.

The company also maintains a significant presence in the UK energy sector with ongoing projects and operations.

The latest deal is expected to be finalised in the first quarter of next year.

The Swedish company will continue to develop the Vanguard East and Vanguard West projects until the completion of their sales, with a transitional service agreement in place to guarantee uninterrupted build-out.

Vattenfall CEO Anna Borg stated: “The Norfolk offshore wind zone is incredibly important for the energy transition and reaching net zero. Today’s agreement with RWE is great news for the UK’s energy security, ensuring the zone’s continued journey towards providing clean electricity for over four million homes as well as jobs and investment into the UK.

“Both the UK and the offshore market remain attractive over the long term, and we will focus our offshore investments in projects that are appropriate to our current risk appetite while continuing to operate and grow our existing fleet of assets.”

RWE offshore wind CEO Sven Utermöhlen stated: “With the acquisition of the Norfolk offshore wind zone portfolio, we are taking over three well-advanced offshore wind projects from Vattenfall. I am very happy that we will work with Vattenfall towards facilitating team continuity to ensure the successful handover and further development of the projects.”

In November 2022, RWE announced its commitment to invest €55bn ($60.42bn) in green energy projects globally up to 2030.

The decision is part of its updated strategy, with the company planning to spend €8bn in the UK during this period.