Equinor, the Norwegian state-owned energy giant formerly known as Statoil, has invested in a near 10% stake in compatriot solar firm Scatec.
Equinor has purchased a 9.7% stake in the firm, which specialises in the development and operation of utility-scale solar farms, for a sum of NOK700 million (£64.5 million).
The two firms had already collaborated on the development of solar farms in South America and Pål Eitrheim, executive vice president at Equinor, said the purchase of a minority stake had been made “with a long term perspective”.
“The investment in Scatec Solar will increase Equinor’s exposure to a fast growing renewable sector, further complementing Equinor’s portfolio with profitable solar energy. This is in line with our strategy to develop into a broad energy company,” Eitrheim added.
Scatec has developed more than 1GW of utility-scale solar worldwide and collaborated with Equinor on projects in Brazil and Argentina in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
Statoil rebranded as Equinor in March this year, following on from DONG in ditching connotations with fossil fuels in its corporate identity.
In purchasing a stake in Scatec it is also following in the footsteps of both BP and Shell, which invested in UK developer Lightsource and US developer Silicon Ranch respectively, while Shell has also been linked with the planning of utility-scale solar farms in the UK.
Earlier this year Current± published a Long Read article examining the trend of oil and gas firms venturing into the global solar PV market as the technology emerges as one of the cheapest forms of electricity generation.