Eni SpA has taken a 20% share in what will be world’s largest offshore wind farm for 405 million pounds ($545 million) as traditional oil producers shift investment to green energy.
The Milan-based energy producer bought the stake in Dogger Bank phase A and B from Equinor and SSE, who now hold 40% shares each in the development group. The partnership will install 190 turbines 80 miles off the coast of the UK, with full capacity of 2.4 gigawatts to supply 6 million homes and around 5% of British demand for renewable electricity.
The project’s A and B phases will cost 6 billion pounds to construct, with the first stage to begin output in 2023 and the second in 2024. Equinor and SSE remain sole developers of the separate Dogger Bank phase C, which is slated for development on a later timeline.
Eni sees the acquisition as an opportunity to build skills and competency in its new energy strategy.
“For Eni, entering the offshore wind market in Northern Europe is a great opportunity to gain further skills in the sector thanks to the collaboration with two of the industry’s leading companies,” CEO Claudio Descalzi said in the release. Eni seeks 5 gigawatts of installed renewables capacity by 2025.
European oil and gas producers have announced sweeping shifts in strategy this year to increase spending on clean energy development – mainly wind and solar generation. The moves will focus on power generation, anticipating larger fleets of electric cars and greater regulation over carbon emissions. The European Union aims for carbon neutrality by 2050 and in parallel is pushing pilot investments to develop clean fuels like hydrogen, which require electricity in the production process.
Eni is not the only traditional oil producer making inroads into offshore wind. Norway’s Equinor also recently sold 50% stakes in two US-based offshore wind projects to BP for more than $1 billion. Meanwhile, Total and Macquarie plan to develop 2 gigawatts of floating offshore wind in South Korea.