Ignitis Group has announced it has selected a strategic partner for the development of offshore wind farm projects – Ocean Winds (OW) – with the aim of participating in the first auctions for offshore wind in Lithuania, expected in 2023.
Ocean Winds is a new joint venture company created by Engie and EDPR this year. OW aims to among the top five offshore wind energy players in the world.
Ignitis Group started the search for a strategic partner for the development of offshore wind farm projects in Q1 2019. After initiating a search, the group established a dialogue with European wind energy leaders and received initial interest from more than 10 potential partners, and 7 participants submitted official Expressions of Interest (EOIs).
“The strong interest we received from European wind energy leaders in the opportunities for cooperation indicated that we are on the right track and that we can see the Baltic States among leaders of renewable energy in the future” said Darius Maikštėnas, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Ignitis Group. “We plan to implement a strategic partnership with OW, one of the largest offshore wind farm developers in the world, through a two-stage partnership process. Ignitis Group will initially gain valuable expertise by participating in a new offshore wind farm development project as a minority partner and then will participate in auctions for the development of specific projects in the Baltic Sea. Offshore wind technology is constantly evolving, and the Baltic Sea is considered one of the most promising places for the development of this type of energy.”
If the partners jointly develop the planned offshore wind farm project in Lithuania, the capacity of which is expected to reach about 700 MW, Ignitis Group will own 51 percent, and strategic partner OW 49 percent of shares. According to experts, investment in a project of this size can reach up to 1.5 billion euros. As a result of this strategic partnership, the total amount of foreign investment in Lithuanian offshore wind energy sector may exceed 700 million euros.
Mr Maikštėnas, added that in its updated long-term corporate strategy, presented in June this year, Ignitis Group is aiming to achieve 4 GW of installed green generation capacity by 2030 and that offshore wind projects will contribute a significant part of this capacity. The corporate strategy is also aligned with the targets of Lithuania’s National Energy Independence Strategy, that by 2030 will see wind power plants produce 50 per cent of the country’s electricity.
The strategic partnership with OW, one of the largest offshore wind farm developers in the world will allow the Group to gain experience in offshore wind projects in other countries, which will be used to develop offshore wind energy in Lithuania.
Ignitis Group will also be a minority partner in the development of the Moray West wind farm on the East coast of Great Britain, with Ignitis Group owning 5 percent of shares. It is estimated that the group will invest approximately ten times more in offshore wind farms in Lithuania than in the Moray West project.