Equinor president and chief executive Eldar Sætre highlighted the company’s fast-growing role in the offshore wind industry when presenting the company’s Q3 2019 results
Long known only as an oil company, Equinor is now involved in massive offshore wind projects in the UK, a large-scale project in the US and is a pioneer in using floating wind.
Speaking on 24 October 2019, Equinor’s boss said, “The last few months have been a game-changer for our offshore wind business.
“Together with SSE, we were the winning bidder for three projects at Dogger Bank in the UK, making it the largest offshore windfarm development in the world.
“In addition, we won the opportunity to develop Empire Wind offshore New York, delivered development plans for Hywind Tampen and realised significant value from the farm-down in the Arkona offshore windfarm in Germany.”
Bidding with SSE, Equinor was one of 12 new renewable energy projects that won contracts for difference in the UK’s latest auction for renewable energy. The winning bids from Equinor were for the Doggerbank Creyke Beck A P1; Doggerbank Creyke Beck B P1; Doggerbank Teeside A P1 projects, which came in at a record low price of £39.65/MWh (US$49.89). Together, the projects will be the world’s largest offshore wind development with a total installed capacity of 3.6 GW.
When the results were announced, Equinor said the auction results “reflect continued cost reductions and technological developments” and “the increasing competitiveness of bottom-fixed offshore wind.” It also noted that the contracts offer a fixed price for the first 15 years of operation, providing the projects with a long-term predictable revenue stream.
Equinor’s 816-MW Empire Wind project was one of two projects selected by New York state in its first large-scale competitive offshore wind solicitation in July 2019. The project is 23-56 km south of Long Island in the New York Bight. The project is expected to be developed with 60-80 wind turbines with a capacity of more than 10 MW each. The total investment will be approximately US$3Bn and the project has an expected start up in late 2024.
Equinor took a final investment decision to develop the Hywind Tampen floating offshore windfarm, a project that will see energy from offshore wind used to part-power offshore oil and gas facilities, in early October.
The oil and gas platforms will be the first ever powered by offshore wind, using a floating windfarm 140 km offshore in water depths of 260-300 m, between the Snorre and Gullfaks platforms.