BP and Equinor are forming a partnership to develop offshore wind projects in the U.S. This includes the development of existing offshore wind leases off the U.S. East Coast and pursuing other opportunities for offshore wind. Along with forming the new strategic partnership, BP will purchase a 50% interest in Equinor’s Empire Wind and Beacon Wind assets for $1.1 billion.
The Empire Wind lease area, which was awarded to Equinor in 2016, is 15-30 miles southeast of Long Island and has a total area of 80,000 acres. The area will be developed in two phases. Empire Wind Phase 1 will have between 60 and 80 turbines. The entire Empire Wind lease area has a potential generation capacity of 2 gigawatts (GW) with a generating capacity of more than 1 million homes. Beacon Wind covers a total area of 128,000 acres of federal waters off New England’s coast, approximately 20 miles south of Nantucket and 60 miles east of Montauk Point. The BP press release said that when it’s fully developed, this offshore wind farm is expected to have a total generating capacity of 2.4GW, sufficient to provide power to more than 1 million households in the Northeast U.S. When completed, these two offshore wind farms will be the largest in the United States.
Bernard Looney, BP’s chief executive, said in the press release, “This is an important early step in the delivery of our new strategy and our pivot to truly becoming an integrated energy company. Offshore wind is growing at around 20% a year globally and is recognized as being a core part of
meeting the world’s need to limit emissions. Equinor is a recognized sector leader and this partnership builds on a long history between our two companies. It will play a vital role in allowing us to deliver our aim of rapidly scaling up our renewable energy capacity.”
According to information on BP’s website, as it makes renewables a much larger part of its generating mix, its oil and gas production is expected to reduce by at least one million barrels of oil equivalent a day, or 40%, from 2019 levels. Its remaining hydrocarbon portfolio is expected to be more cost and carbon resilient.
In offshore wind news, GE announced that has been chosen to supply 190 of its Haliade-X turbines for the first two phases of Dogger Bank, the world’s largest wind farm. It’s being developed in the North Sea off the coast of Yorkshire, England.
The effort, which would have a combined generation capacity of 2.4 gigawatts, is a joint venture with SSE Renewables. According to information at www.doggerbank.com, when complete the wind farm will provide over 4.5 million homes in the United Kingdom with renewable electricity from the wind — approximately 5% of the nation’s electricity demand.