StatoilHydro and Norwegian power utility Statkraft are joining forces to develop the 315 MW Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm off the coast of Norfolk in the UK. Total investments are estimated at approximately NOK 10 bn ($1.49bn).
The wind farm, which will consist of 88 turbines, is planned to start production in 2011.
Sheringham Shoal, between 17 km and 23 km off the coast of the town of Sheringham in northern Norfolk, will cover an area of 35 square kilometres. Construction will begin in early summer 2009, and a gradual start-up of production is scheduled for 2011.
StatoilHydro says that when fully operational, its annual electricity production is expected to be around 1.1TWh, enough energy to power around 220,000 UK homes.
“Total investments are estimated at approximately NOK 10 billion,” StatoilHydro said in a statement.
Huge investments planned
Until now, the 315 MW Sheringham Shoal project has been owned 100% by StatoilHydro.
“Through an agreement, Statkraft will acquire 50% of the shares in the project, thus becoming an equal partner with StatoilHydro,” the Norwegian state-owned oil and gas producer said in a statement.
Sheringham Shoal is ready for construction and will be developed according to schedule, with StatoilHydro as the operator during the construction phase.
“The Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm will be the most important wind farm project in both StatoilHydro’s and Statkraft’s wind energy portfolios,” the company said.
Statoil CEO Helge Lund said the partnership and the decision to develop the project were a significant milestone in both companies’ ambitions in the field of offshore wind.
“Europe is facing massive growth in renewable capacity by 2020 and 50% of the growth is expected to come in wind power,” said StatoilHydro CEO Helge Lund.
He added that Statkraft was already Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy, and it had extensive experience of onshore wind power.
“The partnership with StatoilHydro will take us into the offshore wind industry as well – which is in line with our core growth strategy and within the investment plans already communicated to the market,” said Statkfraft CEO Bård Mikkelsen.
The Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm has received all the approvals needed for construction and operation.
StatoilHydro and Statkraft are also collaborating with SSE/Airtricity and RWE/Npower on the joint venture Forewind, bidding for the third licensing round in the UK.