Norwegian Offshore Wind Auction Attracts Powerhouses

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 Sørlige Nordsjø II area. Source: Equinor

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 Sørlige Nordsjø II area borders the Danish sector in the North Sea and is ideally located for the supply of electricity to Europe, Equinor said.

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”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,” said Pål Eitrheim, Equinor’s executive vice president New Energy Solutions .

”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.”

The Sørlige Nordsjø II area has among the best wind resources in the world with water depths between 53 and 70 metres, Equinor said.

Anja-Isabel Dotzenrath, chief executive officer RWE Renewables, 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 in delivering Norway’s offshore wind ambitions.”

Equinor and RWE previously collaborated on developing the 385 MW Arkona offshore wind farm in the German part of the Baltic Sea. The wind farm was commissioned in 2019 and is delivering electricity to the equivalent of 400,000 German households.

Hydro REIN is part of Norsk Hydro ASA, the Oslo-headquartered aluminium and renewable energy company active in some 50 countries around the world across all continents.

The goal of Hydro REIN is to provide industrial clients with access to affordable renewable power, sourced from the company’s portfolio of hydro, solar, and wind projects in Brazil and the Nordics.

”Offshore wind will be an important component in the future energy mix to decarbonize Europe and reach the 2050 targets,” said Arvid Moss, Hydro Energy’s executive vice president.

”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.”

As reported earlier this week, the consortium of Germany’s EnBW and Norway’s ASKO Fornybar / NorgesGruppen and Norseman Wind, will apply for a license to build a 1.4 GW, subsidy-free wind farm in the Sørlige Nordsjø II area.

Photo: Arkona offshore wind farm. Source: Eskil Eriksen/Equinor ASA