Renewables

Equinor Strengthens its Position in Polish Offshore Wind Market

On 10 December,2019 Equinor completed the acquisition of a 50% interest in the polish offshore wind development project Bałtyk I in Poland from Polenergia. The company now has an interest in all three Bałtyk offshore wind development projects (MFW Bałtyk III, MFW Bałtyk II i MFW Bałtyk I.).

“The acquisition of Baltyk I strengthens our presence in the Baltic Sea area. With interest in all three – Baltyk I, II and III projects, we have the opportunity to build scale and value in what we see as an important energy region,” says Jens Økland, Senior vice president for business development in New energy solutions in Equinor.

The Bałtyk I offshore location license allows for a development of a wind farm with a capacity up to 1560MW of which Equinor will hold 50%. Equinor will be the manager for the construction preparation and the potential construction and operational phases.

It was in 2018 that Equinor acquired a 50% interest in the offshore wind development projects Bałtyk II and Bałtyk III which have a combined planned capacity of 1,440 MW with the potential to power more than two million Polish households. Later that year, Equinor decided to exercise an option to acquire a 50% interest in the Bałtyk I offshore wind development project, and this transaction is now concluded.

“All three of our projects have a prestigious partner which, on the one hand, confirms real development prospects of offshore wind energy sector in Poland and is also an expression of recognition for the quality of work performed by the Group and thus a clear signal that 1.5 years of joint work with Equinor offer good results,” stresses Michał Michalski, President of the Management Board of Polenergia.

“Poland is an important market for Equinor and we are pleased to continue our partnership with Polenergia, which is an experienced energy company with an in-depth knowledge of the Polish energy market,” says Økland.

The two companies have a 50/50 joint venture and are working together to mature the Baltyk projects towards construction.

In 2018, Equinor signed agreements with Polenergia to acquire a 50% interest in the three early-phase offshore wind development projects MFW Bałtyk I, MFW Bałtyk II and MFW Bałtyk III.

In May 2018, Equinor signed agreements to acquire a 50% interest in MFW Bałtyk II and MFW Bałtyk III. The two projects have a planned capacity of 1,200 MW with the potential to power more than two million Polish households.

In December 2018, Equinor exercised an option to acquire a 50% interest in Bałtyk I licence. The licence allows for a development of a wind farm with a capacity up to 1,560 MW.

Equinor has also entered into a 50/50 joint venture with Polenergia to further mature these projects towards future auctions and final investment decisions (FID), with Equinor being the manager for the development and potential construction and operational phases.

Polenergia is an experienced energy company with a growing renewable portfolio and in-depth knowledge of the Polish electricity market.

Polenergia is the first and the only entity in Poland to have two valid environmental decisions for construction of Bałtyk II Offshore Wind Farm (April 2017) and Bałtyk III Offshore Wind Farm (July 2016), along with connection agreements and a valid environmental decision for construction of transmission infrastructure (March 2019). The third project, Bałtyk I Offshore Wind Farm, has a valid location permit and terms of connection from the transmission system operator.

The next stage of performance of Bałtyk II and Bałtyk III Offshore Wind Farms will be procurement of a construction permit and selection of key technological solutions. Rapid offshore development around the world results in the fact that the planned capacity of a single turbine will significantly exceed the available 10 MW of generating units, thus minimising the investment’s impact on the environment. For the construction of the first Polish offshore wind farms to become plausible, as well as to observe the date of production of electric energy already in 2025, fulfilment of two conditions is necessary. First of all, the long-awaited regulatory changes pertaining to the aid dedicated to offshore wind farms have to be adopted and have to enter into force. Secondly, a series of technical and organisational improvements must be made in the provisions related to the process of procuring permits and preparation of projects for construction.

The wind farm areas are in the Baltic Sea approximately 27, 40 and 81 kilometres from the port of Łeba, in water depths of 20-40 metres. Equinor is already developing the Arkona offshore windfarm together with EON in the German part of the Baltic Sea.

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