bp announces European wind farm first

Energy giant bp has announced it is to enter the continental European offshore wind sector having been awarded the rights to develop two offshore wind projects in the German tender.

The two North Sea sites, located 130km and 150km offshore in water depths of about 40m, have a total potential generating capacity of 4GW. Subject to receiving the necessary permits and approvals, these would be bp’s first offshore wind projects in Germany and the company said are fully aligned with its “integrated energy company strategy and disciplined capital allocation”.

Anja-Isabel Dotzenrath, bp’s executive vice president, gas and & low carbon energy, said: “These awards are a huge milestone for bp’s decarbonisation plans in Germany and are a strong reflection of our wider strategy. The renewable power we aim to produce will anchor the significant demand we expect for green electrons for our German operations, from a whole host of products and services including green hydrogen and biofuels production, electric mobility growth and refinery decarbonisation.”

bp will lead the development, construction and operations of these fixed-bottom offshore wind projects, with grid connection targeted by end 2030. bp’s global offshore wind pipeline now totals up to 9.2GW net to bp.

Dotzenrath, added: “Germany is a core market for bp and we are excited to continue and grow our business here. The investment is fully aligned with our integrated energy strategy and is accommodated within our disciplined capital frame. Expected returns of 6-8% are consistent with our renewables and power growth engine on an unlevered basis, with the potential to realise enhanced value through integration across the Germany value chain.”

Initial payments totalling €678 million, equivalent to 10% of the bid amount, will be paid by July 2024. The remaining 90% will be paid over a 20-year period when the projects become operational in the next decade.

bp and its predecessor companies have been operating in Germany for nearly 120 years and currently it employs about 4,000 people in the country. bp operates two refineries in the country and Aral – Germany’s leading retail network with c 2,300 sites. It’s also a leading provider for EV fast charging, providing 1,500 charging points in country. bp has extensive low carbon hydrogen plans in country and earlier this year unveiled Europe’s first charging corridor for heavy-duty electric trucks.

bp’s head of country, Patrick Wendeler, added: “We are investing massively in Germany’s energy transition and in our own – from renewable power generation to having an impact on the decarbonization of road transport to the decarbonisation of our refineries. Our major existing businesses here are transforming – powered by green hydrogen, biofuels and offshore wind. And today’s win accelerates the pace of change as we look to do more. We look forward to the important role we can play in contributing to Germany’s energy transition and its efforts to become climate neutral in 2045.”

The recent tender is part of Germany’s target of having 30GW of offshore wind projects installed by 2030, at least 40GW by 2035 and at least 70GW by 2045.