Iberdrola has agreed to acquire 50% of the developer Sea Wind, getting a foothold in Poland’s nascent offshore wind market with access to a potential 7.3GW in projects in the Polish Baltic Sea.
The Spanish energy giant. explained the deal would allow it to position itself in the early stage of development of Polish offshore wind, where it sees “significant growth potential”.
With the transaction, it is also promoting plans to create an offshore wind hub in the Baltic Sea, which would act “as the epicentre of offshore services and local content” for its projects in Germany, Poland and Sweden.
Sea Wind is developing seven, early-stage offshore projects in the Baltic Sea. It previously worked with Iberdrola to develop the 476MW Baltic Eagle wind farm off the German coast, before selling it to the Spanish giant in 2017. Iberdrola expects to commission the project in 2023.
Iberdrola says the new partnership could be open to Polish partners.
The acquisition comes after its talks with Polish energy company Enea to develop up to 3.3GW of Polish offshore wind projects broke down in September.
Iberdrola already has offshore wind capacity in the German Baltic Sea, after commissioning the 350MW Wikinger wind farm in late 2017. In Sweden, it reached an agreement with Svea Vind Offshore this June that will allow it to take majority stakes in the future in up to 9GW of offshore wind capacity.
The Spanish giant has been on a spending spree this year, including renewable energy acquisitions in the UK, France, Australia, Sweden, Japan and Brazil.
Meanwhile, Poland’s parliament this week began examination of the country’s Offshore Wind Act, after the Council of Ministers approved the draft legislation at the end of November. Final parliamentary approval is expected by end 2020 or early 2021 at the latest.
That legislation envisages developers looking to secure offtake agreements, similar to the UK’s contract for difference model, in two phases. Up to 5.9GW in projects are to be selected by Poland’s energy regulator by the end of June 2021, before a further 5GW in capacity is auctioned in two tenders in 2025 and 2027. Poland’s government targets offshore wind capacity rising from zero today to 5.9GW in 2030 and 8-11GW by 2040.