Equinor, RWE and Hydro team up for offshore wind in the Norwegian North Sea

May 26, 2021 07:00 CEST
The Arkona wind farm - photo
Arkona offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea. (Photo: Eskil Eriksen / Equinor ASA)

Together, the partners have strong expertise in all parts of the offshore wind value chain from development, production, and route to market.

Logos for RWE, Hydro and Equinor

Equinor, RWE Renewables and Hydro REIN have signed a collaboration agreement for offshore wind in Norway. The partners will jointly prepare and submit an application to the Norwegian authorities to develop a large-scale bottom-fixed offshore wind farm in the Sørlige Nordsjø II area in the Norwegian North Sea.

The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has opened two areas for offshore renewables (Utsira Nord and Sørlige Nordsjø II) and is currently working on the licensing process for offshore wind power projects in Norway. The area borders the Danish sector in the North Sea and is ideally located for supply of electricity to Europe.

The partnership between Equinor, RWE and Hydro represents a strong combination of experience and expertise from offshore wind development, energy market insight and large-scale industrial project execution. Together, the three companies have the complimentary capabilities as well as experience needed to develop a large-scale offshore wind farm at Sørlige Nordsjø II.

Map of Sørlige Nordsjø II

“The North Sea has among the world’s best wind resources. A large-scale offshore wind farm at Sørlige Nordsjø II could play a key role in expanding the North Sea as an offshore energy hub and create new industrial opportunities for Norway as an energy nation. Between Equinor, RWE, and Hydro we have the industrial capabilities, from the turbine to the consumer, to create value and supply renewable power to Europe,” says Pål Eitrheim, Equinor’s executive vice president New Energy Solutions .

Anja-Isabel Dotzenrath, chief executive officer RWE Renewables, says: “Offshore wind is key for meeting the increasing demand for renewable power, supporting local industries and creating new, future-proof jobs. We will bring our 20 years of experience and expertise in the offshore industry together with our partners Equinor and Hydro to contribute in delivering Norway’s offshore wind ambitions.”

“Offshore wind will be an important component in the future energy mix to decarbonize Europe and reach the 2050 targets. For Hydro, this cooperation is part of our strategy to diversify and explore growth opportunities in new energy. Through Hydro REIN, we bring our industrial capabilities and energy markets knowledge to the partnership, and we are happy to cooperate with RWE and Equinor. Together, we form a strong partnership for developing Sørlige Nordsjø II,” says Arvid Moss, Hydro Energy’s executive vice president.

Photo of Pål Eitrheim, Anja-Isabel Dotzenrath and Arvid Moss
Pål Eitrheim (left), Equinor’s executive vice president New Energy Solutions, Anja-Isabel Dotzenrath, chief executive officer RWE Renewables, and Arvid Moss, Hydro Energy’s executive vice president.

The Sørlige Nordsjø II area has among the best wind resources in the world with water depths between 53 and 70 meters. The area has a potential to deliver a significant amount of renewable energy to countries aiming to transform their energy mix, following EU’s and the UK’s stated ambitions for 300 GW and 100 GW respectively of offshore wind capacity by 2050 to reach their net zero ambitions.

Both Equinor and RWE have strong track records in developing large offshore wind infrastructure projects and operate them efficiently while achieving the highest standards in safety. They have jointly developed the 385-megawatt Arkona offshore wind farm in the German part of the Baltic Sea. This was successfully commissioned in 2019 and is delivering sustainable renewable electricity for the equivalent of 400,000 German households.

With its world-wide industrial operations, top-three position on renewable power production in Norway and large-scale power market activity in the Nordics and Brazil, Hydro’s participation in the partnership brings extensive experience in large-scale project execution, industrialization, and power market optimization. Hydro has over the last years been one of the world’s largest corporate buyers of renewable power, and it has been central in shaping commercial concepts which has contributed to wind power development in Norway and Sweden. Hydro’s participation in the partnership will be organized through its newly established company for renewables development, Hydro REIN.

For more information

Eskil Eriksen, Media Relations,
+47 958 82 534 (mobile)

Sarah Knauber, Group Corporate 
Media Relations
+49 (0) 162 25 444 89 (mobile)

Øyvind Breivik, Communication & Public Affairs, 
Hydro Energy
+47 402 26 686 (mobile)

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Equinor has an ambition to be a leading company in the energy transition. The offshore wind major powers more than one million European homes with renewable electricity from offshore wind farms in the UK and Germany. Equinor is building material offshore wind clusters in the US East Coast, the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. In the North Sea, Equinor is currently developing the world’s largest offshore wind farm, Dogger Bank, and the world’s biggest floating offshore wind farm, Hywind Tampen. The company is positioned for future offshore wind options in several geographies, including Europe, US and Americas and Asia.

RWE Renewables

RWE Renewables is one of the world's leading renewable energy companies. With around 3,500 employees, the company has onshore and offshore wind farms, photovoltaic plants and battery storage facilities with a combined capacity of approximately 9 gigawatts. RWE Renewables is driving the expansion of renewable energy in more than 20 countries on 5 continents. From 2020 until 2022, RWE Renewables targets to invest €5 billion net in renewable energy and to grow its renewables portfolio to 13 gigawatts of net capacity. Beyond this, the company plans to further grow in wind and solar power. The focus is on the Americas, the core markets in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.

Hydro REIN

Hydro REIN, a fully owned subsidiary of Hydro, offers renewable energy solutions for more sustainable industries. The company was established as part of Hydro’s strategy towards 2025, which aims to strengthen Hydro’s position in low carbon aluminium and grow in new energy. Hydro REIN’s goal is to help industrial clients succeed with the energy transition. We facilitate access to affordable renewable power, sourced from our portfolio of hydro, solar and wind projects in Brazil and the Nordics. We also provide industrial scale solutions to improve energy efficiency, reduce emissions and cut costs. Hydro REIN’s business model is based on agility and the ability to leverage Hydro’s 100+ years of renewable energy & industrial development. Our diverse team has the expertise and the resolve to develop projects, services and solutions that make a difference for our clients and the societies they are part of.