Macquarie-owned Green Investment Group (GIG) joined a consortium planning to bid in Norway’s forthcoming debut offshore wind tender.

GIG – the global finance giant’s specialist green energy development and investment unit – will join existing partners Vargronn and Agder Energi in bidding for a share of the Sorlige Nordsjo 2 zone the Norwegian government will offer off the south of the country.

Vargronn is itself a joint venture formed between oil group Eni and Norway’s HitecVision, while Agder Energi is a major electric utility in the Nordic nation.

Sorlige Nordsjo 2 will early in 2022 be offered out for fixed-foundation deployments, while a second area off the west coast, Utsira Nord, will host floating wind projects. Vargronn has separately linked up with local giant Equinor for a tilt at the floating prospect.

The Norwegian government has said it expects the fixed-foundation southern projects to operate on a subsidy-free basis with no state aid.

The partners said: “With proximity to the European power market, shallow sea depths, good wind conditions, and nearby complementary industries, the Sorlige Nordsjo 2 area is particularly suitable for large-scale power production.

“Norway has the acreage, wind resources and supply chain needed to become an offshore wind superpower.”

The two zones are expected to spur around 4.5GW of development and the Norwegian government has already said it plans to release more acreage soon.

GIG is one of the most active players globally in offshore wind, with an early track record of helping to lead the UK’s world-leading build-out before expanding internationally under Macquarie’s ownership.

Edward Northam, head of GIG Europe, said “We are excited to team up with Agder Energi and Vargronn in establishing a strong offshore wind consortium for Sorlige Nordsjo 2.

“Based out of Southern and Western Norway, the two companies can utilise their combined energy competence and regional presence. GIG’s global offshore wind and infrastructure experience will complement and further strengthen the consortium.”

The group joins a stellar line up of bidders seeking a slice of the action off Norway, with other contenders already confirmed as including Orsted, Equinor, Shell and BP.

News of GIG's Norwegian foray came a day after it and partner TotalEnergies were awarded an electricity business license (EBL) for the first phase of their 1.5GW floating wind project located off the coast of Ulsan, South Korea – becoming the first to receive such a permit.

The partners said they now hope to begin construction of the 504MW first phase in 2024.