Norways’s Equinor said on Thursday it agreed to sell 50% non-operated interests in the Empire Wind and Beacon Wind offshore wind developments on the US east coast to BP for about $1.1 billion.
“Through this transaction, the two companies are also establishing a strategic partnership for further growth within offshore wind in the US,” said Equinor.
Currently Equinor holds a 100% interest in both the Empire Wind lease, located off the coast of New York State, and the Beacon Wind lease, located off the Massachusetts coast.
“The transaction is in line with Equinor’s renewable strategy to access attractive acreage early and at scale, mature projects, and capture value by de-risking high equity ownership positions,” added Equinor.
Equinor will remain the operator of the projects in these leases through the development, construction and operations phases and it is anticipated that the wind farms will be equally staffed after a period of time.
Equinor CEO Eldar Sætre said: “We look forward to working with BP who share our strong ambition to grow in renewable energy.
“Our partnership underlines both companies’ strong commitment to accelerate the energy transition and combining our strengths will enable us to grow a profitable offshore wind business together in the US.”
Equinor’s executive vice president for New Energy Solutions Pål Eitrheim said: “This transaction with BP demonstrates Equinor’s ability to create value from developing offshore wind projects.
“Over the past decade Equinor has built world-class technical expertise in offshore wind.
“This has enabled us to access and high-grade wind acreage, resulting in a material, high-quality project pipeline.
“Optimising equity and bringing in new partners allow us to realise value, increasing our financial flexibility to fund further growth.”
Through this partnership Equinor and BP will consider future joint opportunities in the US.
BP CEO Bernard Looney said: “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, and in doing so help deliver the energy the world wants and needs.”