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German energy company Innogy will be seeking partnerships with major oil companies willing to go into renewables for offshore wind projects in the United States, Innogy’s chief operating officer in charge of renewables, Hans Buenting, told Reuters on Wednesday.
“Big oil firms are muscling into the market for renewable energy - because their previous business model is finite,” Buenting said.
According to the manager, utilities and oil majors could make good partnerships in offshore wind power installation.
“The oil companies may have a lot of experience with platforms out at sea. But — apart from Equinor — they have not built offshore wind farms. That’s where we come in,” Buenting told Reuters.
Equinor aims to have a leadership position in renewable energy development in the U.S. and bought in December 2018 an offshore wind lease off Massachusetts. Equinor also has offshore wind projects in the UK, Germany, and Norway.
Innogy will definitely seek partnerships for large offshore wind projects in the United States, the manager said.
Earlier this year, Innogy teamed up with Shell and Stiesdal Offshore Technologies A/S to build a floating foundation wind demonstration project which will be tested offshore Norway in 2020.
According to Buenting, the German firm will meet its target to have 500 MW of onshore wind power installed in the U.S. by the end of 2020.
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Last year, Innogy bought the U.S. onshore wind development business of EverPower Wind Holdings for an undisclosed sum. Thanks to the acquisition, Innogy became the sole owner of more than 2,000 megawatts of onshore wind projects in various development stages. The projects are located across eight states that are attractive to renewables—Maine, Maryland, Montana, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wyoming, Innogy said in July 2018.
Innogy is still considering whether to bid in a wind lease auction in the New York Bight Region slated for early 2020, Buenting told Reuters.
According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the Department of Energy has estimated that the U.S. could install a total of 22,000 MW of offshore wind projects by 2030 and 86,000 MW by 2050, creating thousands of well-paying jobs in coastal communities.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.