Norwegian oil and gas giant Statoil has announced this week it has signed an agreement to acquire a 50% interest in the early phase development of two offshore wind farms in Poland with a combined capacity of 1.2 gigawatts.
Statoil, which is the world’s largest offshore operator and has significant oil and gas assets, is nevertheless making significant strides in diversifying its holdings to acquire renewable energy projects. Among its many new renewable assets is the groundbreaking world first floating offshore wind farm, the 30 megawatt Hywind Scotland, which was recently revealed to be performing even better than had been expected.
Announced on Monday, Statoil revealed that it had entered into an agreement with Polish electric power distribution company Polenergia to acquire a 50% stake in the Bałtyk Środkowy III (BSIII) and Bałtyk Środkowy II (BSII) offshore wind farms which, together, have a planned capacity of 1.2 gigawatts (GW), enough to supply electricity to approximately 2 million Polish households.
“We are very pleased to have entered into a partnership with Polenergia, which is an experienced energy company with a growing renewable portfolio and in-depth knowledge of the Polish electricity market,” explained Irene Rummelhoff, executive vice president of New Energy Solutions in Statoil. “Statoil has an ambition to grow significantly within renewable energy investing up to EUR 10 billion in profitable renewable energy towards 2030, and this acquisition strengthens our presence in the Baltic Sea area giving opportunities for scale and synergies in a longer perspective.”
Located approximately 27 and 40 kilometers off the coast of Poland in the Baltic Sea, Bałtyk Środkowy II and III each have a planned capacity of 600 megawatts and are expected to begin construction respectively in 2023 and 2020, with completion dates respectively in 2026 and 2022.
The move for Statoil falls in line with its existing priorities and projects, as it is already developing with EON the 385 MW Arkona wind farm in the German part of the Baltic Sea, and is also operating three offshore wind farms off the UK coast.
“We are entering a market with growth potential through two of the most advanced offshore wind developments in Poland,” added Rummelhoff. “The country is well-placed to develop a strong offshore wind industry that would create jobs and value in one of the most dynamic parts of the European markets. Following a dramatic reduction in cost for offshore wind, we are looking forward to work with our new partner, the Polish authorities and the Polish supply chain to advance offshore wind as a competitive source of energy and industry.”