Statkraft has teamed-up with Aker’s offshore wind unit and clean energy investment arm to explore opportunities for development in the Norwegian North Sea.
Their initial focus is the potential for a bottom-fixed project in the Sørlige Nordsjø II area off Norway's south-west coast, one of two areas opened up for development.
Statkraft and Aker Offshore Wind would co-develop any potential project, with Aker Horizons providing financial support.
The partners are yet to specify a potential project capacity or commissioning date, but the power produced could be used to power Norwegian oil and gas installations, or exported, Statkraft suggested.
Statkraft had ceased its offshore wind investments in 2015, claiming the sector was too “capital intensive”, but acquired a 750MW project under development off the coast of Ireland through its acquisition of Element Energy's UK and Irish pipeline. Now, it has noted offshore wind’s falling costs.
It had also decided against pursuing further wind power development in Norway, beyond the completion of the 1GW-plus Fosen complex and two other licensed wind farms, citing profitability concerns.
“Strong growth, falling technology costs and a changed competitor landscape indicates that offshore wind will take a larger role in the European energy transition. Therefore, we see the cooperation with Aker as an opportunity for substantial value creation and [to] accelerate Europe’s green transition,” said Statkraft’s CEO Christian Rynning-Tønnesen.
Meanwhile, Aker highlighted Norway as a target market ahead of the spin-off of its offshore wind business last year.
Øyvind Eriksen, President and CEO of Aker ASA and chairman of Aker Horizons, added: “Norway’s leading offshore industry, including a strong supplier industry, means we already have the building blocks and capabilities in place to be at the forefront of the energy transition.”