Oil major Shell teamed up with Norwegian utilities BKK and Lyse to bid in the Nordic country’s first offshore wind tender expected next year, the companies said on Thursday.
Shell has been active in oil and gas extraction on the Norwegian continental shelf for several decades, and like many of its peers sees offshore wind as a cross-over technology in a bid to become carbon neutral in its operations.
“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,” said Hessel de Jong, head of Shell’s European offshore wind business.
The partners said they were planning to bid to build both floating and bottom-fixed wind power turbines on the Norwegian continental shelf.
Norway has designated two North Sea areas - Utsira Nord and Soerlige Nordsjoe II - to build a total of 4.5 gigawatt (GW) of offshore wind power capacity.
BKK, based in Bergen, and Lyse, headquartered in Norway’s oil capital Stavanger, are among Norway’s biggest hydropower producers and operators of local power grids.
Norway’s offshore wind plans have attracted a lot of interest from domestic and foreign energy firms, including Equinor, Danish Ørsted and BP.
(Reporting by Nora Buli, editing by Nerijus Adomaitis; editing by Jonathan Oatis)