Norwegian energy major Equinor bought a 50% stake in a planned offshore wind farm in Poland, deepening its foothold in a sector that is expected to take off from the mid-2020s.
The company said it exercised an option to acquire half of the Bałtyk I project in the Baltic Sea from Polish utility Polenergia SA, following a similar deal for the Bałtyk II and Bałtyk III projects that came into force in May.
The project has a license for up to 1,560 MW of capacity but is still in an early stage of development, with no final investment decision or subsidies secured. Equinor and Polenergia will form a joint venture to develop the wind farm, with Equinor managing the potential construction and operational phases, according to a press release.
Equinor has already developed offshore wind farms in the U.K. and Germany and is positioning itself for when Europe's offshore boom finally reaches Polish waters as well.
The country's coal-friendly government has taken cautious steps towards diversifying its energy mix this year, presenting a long-term strategy that would reduce its reliance on fossil fuels in part by building up to 10 GW of offshore wind farms by 2040.
Other utilities have entered the race to develop the country's first offshore farms. State-owned PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna SA is also looking for partners to develop and operate wind farms with a total capacity of up to 2,545 MW. Like Polenergia, it wants to operate the projects in a 50/50 joint venture.