Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG) has joined Vårgrønn and Agder Energi to form a consortium bidding for licences for offshore wind off Norway’s south-west coast.
They will bid for licences in the Sørlige Nordsjø II area in the Norwegian North Sea in an upcoming tender. They believe up to 3GW of new offshore wind capacity could be built there.
Earlier this year, Norwegian energy minister Tina Bru said the government aims to announce an auction process for Sørlige Nordsjø II – a 2,591km2 site south-west of Kristiansand in the south of the country – in the first quarter of 2022.
Vårgrønn and Agder Energi have already carried out initial development activity for the bids.
It is unclear whether the trio plans to use fixed-bottom foundations or floating platforms and how much offshore wind capacity they intend to develop.
GIG pointed out that the Sørlige Nordsjø II area is close to the European power market, has shallow sea depths, good wind conditions, and complementary industries nearby.
The head of GIG Europe Edward Northam added: “Being one of the most promising countries for offshore wind in the world, we are fully committed to participating in Norway’s upcoming licencing round.”
Vårgrønn is a joint venture of Italian utility Eni and Norwegian oil and gas investor HitecVision. Meanwhile, Agder Energi is a Norwegian renewable energy company, with a focus on hydropower. The GIG is Australian institutional investor Macquarie's clean energy investment unit.
Agder Energi and Vårgrønn will each own 37.5% of the consortium, while GIG will own 25%. Vårgrønn will be the project manager.
The Vårgrønn joint venture is also teaming with Equinor to jointly apply for a licence in the Utsira Nord area off the Norwegian North Sea – the other site available for licencing in the upcoming tender.
GIG, Agder Energi and Vårgrønn are likely to face stiff competition in Norway, as several bidding consortiums have set their sights on Sørlige Nordsjø II.
Trios to announce they are targeting the site include: Shell, BKK and Lyse; BP, Statkraft and Aker Offshore Wind; Equinor, RWE Renewables and Hydro REIN; Statkraft, Aker Offshore Wind and Aker Horizons; and Ørsted, Hafslund Eco and Fred Olsen Renewables.