BP will link with Statkraft and Aker Offshore Wind to bid into Norway’s upcoming tender round for wind at sea, in the latest foray into renewables by the oil & gas supermajor.

UK-based BP will join the two Norwegian groups in submitting a bid for the Sorlige Nordsjo 2 area that is one of two the country is opening up for development in its first wave of tendering.

BP said the “favourable location” of Sorlige Nordsjo 2 – located in the south of Norway – “provides power export access to local and adjacent markets.

“The consortium also intends to explore opportunities to provide clean power to electrify offshore oil and gas facilities.”

Hydropower giant Statkraft and developer-contractor Aker Offshore Wind said in January they would work together to bid into the tender. The three will now each hold a one-third share of a consortium set up for the bid.

The arrival of BP on the scene is the latest venture into the sector by the oil & gas group, which only made its debut on the offshore wind scene in September 2020 but has already made its ambitions clear. An initial $1.1bn deal for a share of Equinor’s projects off New York was followed by success in the latest UK seabed leasing round, and notices of intentions to compete in pioneering tenders off Scotland and now Norway.

As well as offshore wind, BP has also made massive moves into solar as part of its plan to amass a 50GW net renewables base by 2030.

Dev Sanyal, BP executive vice president of gas and low carbon energy, said: “BP aims to grow our renewables business at scale and we see great opportunities in offshore wind energy. We have decades of offshore experience in the North Sea and will also bring our extensive trading capabilities and strong relationships in Europe.

“Coming together with Aker and Statkraft, we believe this consortium will be ideally positioned to effectively and efficiently grow and deliver clean power for European markets, as well as strengthen the supply to Norway when needed.”

The Norwegian government said last week that Sorlige Nordsjo 2 is set to host bottom-fixed offshore wind projects and isn’t seen as needing the support of government subsidies.

The legal implications of projects supplying power not just to Norway but to international markets are currently being assessed by officials, who expect to carve out two or three project areas for development after a process launching early next year.

Along with the more northern Utsira North zone, which is expected to also host floating wind projects, the area is expected to spur some 4.5GW of development.

The BP/Statkraft/Aker Offshore Wind alliance is just one of a raft of heavy hitters lining up for the Norwegian tender.

Global offshore wind pacesetter Orsted, Fred Olsen Renewables, Equinor and Eni are among the others vying for a piece of the action.