Statoil and EON invest €1.2b in Baltic wind farm

Energy giants Statoil of Norway and EON of Germany said Monday they would invest more than €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion) in a Baltic Sea wind farm, one of Europe's biggest offshore wind projects.

Statoil and EON invest €1.2b in Baltic wind farm
Irene Rummelhoff, Statoil's executive VP for New Energy Solutions, announced the investment on Monday. Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix
The Arkona wind farm, located off northeastern Germany, will provide renewable energy for up to 400,000 households in Germany with its capacity of 385 megawatts, the two companies said.
Built and operated by EON, it will be fully operational in 2019 and will consist of 60 wind turbines of six MW each, installed at water depths of between 23 and 37 metres (between 75 and 120 feet).
The project will enable Statoil, which is specialised in oil and gas production, to increase its wind farm energy capacity by around 50 percent, while EON will become “the first company to operate wind farms in both the German North Sea and the Baltic Sea.”
Germany, which has decided to phase out nuclear energy, is home to Europe's biggest wind park, with 45 gigawatts, ahead of Spain (23 GW), Britain (13.6 GW) and France (10.4 GW), according to 2015 statistics from the European Wind Energy Association.

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‘Call me Equinor’: Statoil changes name

Norway's largest oil company Statoil officially changed its name to Equinor on Wednesday as it forges ahead with its drive into renewable energy.

'Call me Equinor': Statoil changes name
CEO Eldar Sætre presents the name change in Stavanger. Photo: Carina Johansen / NTB Scanpix

Proposed in March and adopted on Tuesday at the shareholders' general meeting, the name change allows the company to take a step back — at least in name — from the Norwegian state, which owns 67 percent of its shares, and from oil. 

Equinor is meant to combine the idea of equity and equilibrium (“equi”) and geographical origin (“nor”) for Norway.

Founded in 1972 to operate Norway's large oil fields, the company — which is listed on both the Oslo and New York stock exchanges — is now active in renewable energies, including wind farms off the UK coast.

The group has earmarked 15-20 percent of its investments to “new energy solutions” by 2030.

But this shift has been cold shouldered by environmentalists concerned about global warming as they accuse the company of “green washing”.

“Statoil name change to attract young talent will not be sufficient as long as Equinor is exploring in vulnerable areas, such as the Arctic or the Great Australian Bight,” tweeted Truls Gulowsen, leader for Greenpeace in Norway.

READ ALSO: Norway pledges to spend less oil money in new budget