Energy transition

Tracking the Energy Transition: Equinor Makes Wind History, and BP Stays on Track

Wind power keeps rising across the globe, while new solar plant developments light up Louisiana and Texas.

Official opening of Hywind Tampen
Crown Prince Haakon of Norway connects two cables to mark the official opening of the Hywind Tampen wind farm with Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre and Equinor’s vice president for Renewables in Norway, Siri Espedal Kindem (right), and Equinor’s executive vice president for the Norwegian continental shelf, Kjetil Hove (left).
Source: Ole Jørgen Bratland/Equinor

Equinor’s Hywind Tampen wind farm, the world’s largest floating offshore wind farm, opened in August. The farm consists of 11 wind turbines with 88 MW of capacity that will cover around 35% of the annual power demand for five platforms at the Snorre and Gullfaks oil and gas fields in the North Sea, according to Reuters. The farm is expected to reduce 200 000 tonnes of CO2 annually. “With Hywind Tampen, we have shown that we can plan, build, and commission a large, floating offshore wind farm in the North Sea. We will use the experience and learning from this project to become even better,” Siri Kindem, head of Equinor’s renewables business in Norway, said in a company press release.

Equinor is also expanding its portfolio in Poland. The company recently acquired a 26 MW onshore wind farm in the country from the Helios Group. The farm’s annual production is around 105 GW-h of power.

BP Stays on Energy Transition Track
BP’s interim CEO has announced the company’s intention to continue its energy transition strategy despite the abrupt resignation of CEO Bernard Looney earlier this month. “Our strategy hasn’t changed. And our focus remains on performance—quarter by quarter,” interim CEO Murray Auchincloss told staff, according to a company spokesperson. BP is currently the only oil major with plans to cut oil and gas output by 25% by 2023, according to Reuters.

SLB Teams Up To Take On Carbon Capture
SLB and TDA Research have announced an exclusive agreement to co-develop and scale up TDA’s technologies for industrial carbon capture applications across the power, cement, steel, and petrochemical sectors, according to an SLB news release. “Today, about two-thirds of CO2 emissions originate from industrial and power generation sectors; therefore, bringing more cost-efficient carbon capture technologies to the market is key to mitigating rising global emissions,” said Gokhan Alptekin, president of TDA.

Maxeon Enters the US
Singapore-based solar panel company Maxeon has announced plans to build a 3 GW solar cell and panel factory in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The facility, estimated to open in 2025, could expand to 4.5 GW to meet anticipated customer demand. “Our new solar cell and panel facility in New Mexico is an ambitious and concrete response to the need to decarbonize the US economy while creating permanent highly skilled local manufacturing and engineering jobs,” Maxeon Chief Executive Bill Mulligan said in a statement. This will be the company’s first facility in the US.

First Solar Sets Up in The Pelican State
Louisiana will soon be home to First Solar’s fifth facility in the US. First Solar’s American-made panels have been a hit among solar project developers because the company does not rely on polysilicon, commonly found in panels. The facility is estimated to open in the first half of 2026 and is expected to add 3.5 GW of manufacturing capacity for the company.

Project Revolution Wind Begins in Rhode Island
The US Interior Department has approved the construction of a 704 MW wind farm off the coast of Rhode Island. The Revolution Wind project, owned by Ørsted and Eversource, could power nearly 250,000 homes and includes up to 79 possible locations for the installation of 65 wind turbines and two offshore substations. “Today’s approval of a fourth major offshore wind project is our latest permitting milestone that will help strengthen America’s energy security, make our power grid more reliable, lower energy costs, and cut dangerous climate pollution,” said Ali Zaidi, the White House’s national climate advisor.

The Great White North Goes Green
Four companies were selected by the Newfoundland government to develop wind farms to supply power for new hydrogen plants. The companies—EverWind NL Company, Exploits Valley Renewable Energy, ABO Wind, and World Energy GH2—were among 24 companies who submitted bids.

Brazil Gets Windy …
Brazilian electronics equipment company WEG has signed an agreement with Petrobras to develop a 7 MW onshore wind turbine. Petrobras plans to invest around $130 million in the project, with equipment production set to begin in 2025.

… Denmark, too
Danish energy company Ørsted has made its first investment in a British solar power project, One Earth Solar Farm. The farm, a 740 MW project, will generate enough electricity to power up to 200,000 homes. Ørsted is the world’s largest offshore wind farm developer.

Trina Solar Lands in Texas
China’s Trina Solar announced it will invest more than $200 million to build a solar photovoltaic manufacturing facility in Wilmar, Texas. The facility, which is anticipated to come online in 2024, will produce 5 GW of modules and source polysilicon from the US and Europe. “Trina’s goal in building this facility is to begin to create an ecosystem of American manufacturing that can serve the burgeoning US solar market,” President Steven Zhu said in a statement.

ACME Invests Big in India
Indian renewable energy firm ACME Group has announced its plans to invest $3.27 billion to set up a green hydrogen and ammonia project in Odisha state. The company plans to acquire 343 acres of land in Gopalpur Industrial Park where the plant is expected to produce an output of nearly 1.3 million tonnes annually.

Norway Looks Toward Wind Developments
Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy is reviewing three potential sites for an offshore wind tender off Norway’s south and east coasts. The tender is planned for 2025 and is planned to help the country reach its goal of developing 30 GW of offshore wind by 2040. The three sites were narrowed down from an early list of 20, with the final location assessments estimated to be complete by June 2025.

Vattenfall Plans Big in the North Sea
Swedish energy company Vattenfall has received the rights to build a 630 MW wind power plant off the German North Sea coast, according to Reuters. The project, known as Nordlicht II, follows the earlier Nordlicht I project, with the projects expected to produce enough combined electricity to power 1.7 million German homes. “These projects are milestones on the path to enable fossil freedom,” said Helene Biström, head of BA Wind at Vattenfall. “They will lead to a permanent reduction in Germany’s dependence on fossil fuels. In addition, offshore wind energy can make an important contribution to the conversion to a more climate-friendly production in some key industries. Within the framework of partnerships, we want to support that conversion.”.

Shell Makes Company History in China
Shenzhen, China, is the new home to Shell’s largest electric vehicle (EV) charging station worldwide. The company teamed up with China-based EV company BYD to develop the station, which includes 258 charging ports and solar panels with an annual generation capacity of 300,000 KWh.