Shell partners up for Norwegian offshore wind tender

Shell has partnered with Norwegian utility companies BKK and Lyse to apply for licenses in the two offshore wind development zones Sørlige Nordsjø II and Utsira Nord. The partners can expect fierce competition following earlier announcements from both Norwegian and international partnerships.

Norway wants to accelerate the development of offshore wind. Since the Scandinavian country already has many renewable energy sources, offshore wind will be able to contribute in particular to transforming the large oil and gas industry into a sustainable business model. The energy produced can be used for export.

Utsira Nord and Sørlige Nordsjø II

Utsira Nord (1.5 GW) and Sørlige Nordsjø II (3 GW) are the first two areas to be tendered. The Norwegian government announced this in June 2020. Given the water depth, Utsira Nord, located west of Haugesund, is only suitable for wind turbines with floating foundations. The Sørlige Nordsjø II area, located on the border of Danish waters, is suitable for both fixed and floating foundations.

Shell, BKK and Lyse recently signed the agreement for the partnership and are already preparing for the applications. Shell has already experience in offshore wind. In the Netherlands, the company is involved with the Borssele III & IV and Egmond aan Zee wind farms. BKK is the largest company in the renewable sector in the western part of Norway and the 4th largest hydropower producer. Lyse is the third largest hydropower producer in Norway.

“We see Norway as interesting both in the perspective of supplying enough renewable energy to Europa and to develop floating offshore wind solutions that can become commercially viable. To us, Lyse and BKK are also valuable partners in a global context, with expertise in hydropower and grid infrastructure”, says Hessel de Jong, Shells General Manager for Offshore Wind in Europe.

The three partners see Sørlige Nordsjø II as ideal for a connection to continental Europe. “The two forms of renewable power – wind and hydro – complement each other perfectly. The North Sea has one of the best wind resources in the world. When this produces, we can hold back the water in our reservoirs. In calm periods, we can cover the demand for power by phasing in hydro-production. We wish to contribute to the electrification of the oil and gas industry and connect the offshore wind potential of the Southern North Sea to relevant markets in Europe. The interaction between offshore wind and hydropower will be an advantage for us”, says Jannicke Hilland, CEO of BKK.

Great (international) interest

Shell, BKK and Lyse can expect fierce competition. Many parties from Norway as well as from other European countries have already shown interest in participating in the tender. Various collaborations are being established for this purpose, including: Ørsted with Halfslund and Fred. Olsen Renewables, Parkwind and NorSea, Seagust (Arendals Fossekompani ASA (AFK) en Ferd AS) and a partnership between BP, Statkraft en Aker Offshore Wind.

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