Iberdrola and Total – two of the world’s largest players in power and oil & gas respectively – joined forces for the first time to bid to build Denmark’s largest offshore wind farm.

A partnership between the Spanish power group and French supermajor is among six bidders prequalified to enter a Danish government contest to construct the 1GW Thor project, which is expected to cost up to DKr15.5bn ($2.4bn) to bring into service.

The other five are global offshore wind number-one Orsted; Swedish utility Vattenfall; the UK’s SSE Renewables in conjunction with a fund of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners; Swan Wind, a partnership between Dutch utility Eneco and European Energy; and German utility giant RWE.

The Danish Energy Agency will announce the winner of the 30-year concession this year, with the wind farm due to enter service between 2025 and 2027.

The auction will operate under a UK-style two-sided contract-for-difference (CfD) system, and in a first for a Danish tender will include provision of the offshore grid connection.

Thor, up to 20km offshore in the Danish North Sea, will be Denmark's largest, surpassing the 600MW Kriegers Flak that's due in service in 2021 and 407MW Horns Rev 3, which began operating in 2019.

Power and oil

The partnership between Iberdrola and Total brings together one of the biggest players in global offshore wind and the oil & gas giant, which entered the sector last year by taking a majority stake in Scotland’s 1.1GW Seagreen project.

The Danish bid is only the second national contest Total has entered for offshore wind so far, following a failed joint bid in 2019 for a project off France.

Total has set itself a goal to bring 35GW gross of renewable energy capacity into service by 2025, making it one of the most ambitious of the oil & gas majors in terms of clean energy.

The French group has said it will use its huge balance sheet and expertise in offshore engineering to make offshore wind a key part of that drive, although it has not set an individual capacity goal for the sector. Total's CEO Patrick Pouyanne said last year that existing offshore wind players were “knocking on our doors” in a bid to forge partnerships.

Martin Rune Pedersen, country chair for Total in Denmark, said: “Total has a strong ambition to reach net zero by 2050 together with society and to play a major role in the energy transition in Europe.

“Our participation in the Thor tender is in line with this ambition as it underpins our desire to support the energy transition in Denmark, where we build on more than half a century of Danish offshore operational experience being a reliable energy partner to Denmark.”

For Iberdrola, Denmark would be another addition to a growing roster of markets it plans to add to its early offshore wind base of the UK, Germany and France.

The Spanish group has in recent months unveiled ambitions in Poland and Sweden, as well as further afield plans to enter the Japanese market.