Norwegian energy giant Equinor has struck a deal with Australian renewable energy developer Oceanex Energy to progress offshore wind opportunities in New South Wales, Australia.
Oceanex has been working on offshore wind projects in New South Wales for several years, with a focus on the Hunter Valley, Illawarra and South Coast, each with a proposed generation capacity of 2 GW.
Equinor said that once the relevant declared areas have been announced by the Commonwealth Government, the plan is to jointly submit feasibility licence applications for offshore wind acreage in these regions.
The Norwegian firm and the shareholders of Oceanex will co-invest in entities to explore these opportunities, with the transaction expected to complete in the fourth quarter of 2022.
“Assessing renewable opportunities in Australia supports our strategy as a global offshore wind major to build scale in core areas and secure growth options in attractive new markets early,” said Lars Johannes Nordli, vice president of business development renewables Asia & Pacific at Equinor.
Oceanex was created by Andy Evans and Peter Sgardelis, two of the founders of the Star of the South project in Gippsland, widely regarded as the most advanced project in the country, and in what will be Australia’s first designated offshore wind zone.
“We believe that Equinor, as leaders in offshore wind and floating foundation development, are the ideal partner to progress these exciting projects. Our optimism is heightened by detailed stakeholder engagement, strong industrial bases, especially in the Hunter and the Illawarra, and our high-level environmental studies and grid studies which support large new infrastructure uptake and State and Commonwealth policies,” noted Evans, the CEO of Oceanex.