German multinational energy company RWE confirmed on 21 December that it is set to acquire a UK-based offshore wind portfolio totalling 4.2GW.
RWE will secure the projects in a deal worth £963 million from Swedish state-owned energy company Vattenfall, subject to approval by The Crown Estate and regulatory approvals. Should this be given the green light, RWE will acquire the portfolio consisting of Norfolk Vanguard West, Norfolk Vanguard East and Norfolk Boreas in the Norfolk Offshore Wind Zone in the first quarter of 2024.
The three projects, which RWE confirmed have been in development for 13 years, have already secured seabed rights, grid connections, development consent orders (DCOs) and all other key permits. The projects are anticipated to be operational by the end of the decade.
For RWE this represents another strategic move to bolster its UK assets with Tom Glover, RWE’s UK country chair, stating that the UK is “one of our [RWE’s] most important core markets”.
Indeed, with RWE having announced plans to invest €55 billion (£47 billion) worldwide in the years 2024 to 2030, to grow its green portfolio to more than 65GW by 2030, the UK could see further investment from the German firm, particularly with its attractive wind market.
RWE’s current UK portfolio includes 10 offshore wind farms in operation totalling 3.86GW. Six projects are in development including the 3GW Dogger Bank South and 1.2GW Rampion 2 offshore wind farms.
Glover was also keen to express his support for the UK government’s changes to future offshore wind auctions stating that it would provide RWE with the “confidence to invest and represents a positive step in maximising the UK’s clean energy potential, ensuring sustained and lowest prices for consumers and creating good quality jobs”.
Although Vattenfall stands to lose some of its largest UK offshore wind farms, it stands committed to delving deeper into the UK market, much like RWE.
Highlighting this, Anna Borg, CEO of Vattenfall AB, said: “Both the UK and the offshore market remain attractive over the long term, and we will focus our offshore investments in projects which are appropriate to our current risk appetite while continuing to operate and grow our existing fleet of assets.”