bp and Equinor have completed the formation of their offshore wind partnership in the US. This includes bp’s US$1.1Bn purchase from Equinor of a 50% interest in two major lease areas off the US east coast
The new partnership will develop up to 4.4 GW through two projects – Empire Wind and Beacon Wind – and together pursue further growth in the US offshore wind market.
Completion of the partnership follows the recent success of the Empire Wind 2 and Beacon Wind 1 projects in being selected to provide New York State with 2.5 GW of power. This is the largest US offshore wind award to date.
Together with the existing award to supply 816-MW from the Empire Wind 1 development, this represents a total commitment to provide 3.3 GW of renewable offshore wind energy to the State of New York.
bp chief executive Bernard Looney said, “This milestone is a big deal – not only for our business but our customers too. Offshore wind is one of the fastest-growing energy sources worldwide. Most importantly, though, this deal presents us with a new opportunity. Together with Equinor, the state of New York and local communities, we are building a new industry that will last for generations.
“To have completed this complex deal during a pandemic – when so many of our people face unprecedented new challenges remotely – is truly remarkable.”
bp executive vice president of gas and low carbon energy Dev Sanyal said, “We see significant opportunities by rapidly growing bp’s offshore wind business, making a major contribution to our strategic goals and developing assets that will provide long-term, stable returns.
“Partnering with Equinor, we look forward to developing these world-class assets in the fastest growing energy sector. We will work with communities and authorities in New York to develop a leading offshore wind industry hub, including the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal and the Port of Albany. The partnership will continue to identify new opportunities elsewhere in the US and is committed to providing people with the energy they need in the way they want it.”
The Empire Wind lease area, awarded to Equinor in 2016, is 24-48 km southeast of Long Island and has a total area of 80,000 acres. Its two phases of development have a potential generation capacity of 2 GW.
The Beacon Wind lease area covers a total area of 128,000 acres, approximately 64 km south of Nantucket and 97 km east of Montauk Point. When fully developed its two phases are expected to have a total generating capacity of 2.4 GW.
bp said completion of the deal with Equinor is an important part of delivering its strategy and plans to become an integrated energy company. Under these plans bp aims to grow its net renewable generating capacity from 2.5 GW in 2019 to 20 GW by 2025 and to around 50 GW by 2030. It also aims to increase annual low carbon investment 10-fold by 2030 to around US$5Bn a year.