Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC) and Equinor ASA have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly explore the opportunities to develop commercial floating offshore wind in South Korea.
Hywind floating offshore wind farm, Scotland, courtesy of Equinor
South Korea is pursuing a fundamental transition in the energy mix from nuclear and coal, to renewable energy. The proportion of renewable energy in power generation is set to increase to 20 percent by 2030; which translates to a target of 49 GW of new renewable generation capacity by 2030.
KNOC is 100 percent owned by the South Korean state and has a mandate to ensure South Korea’s energy security. Supporting the South Korean Government’s ambition of renewable energy, KNOC is launching a new business by developing floating offshore wind, building on their offshore development experiences. KNOC is looking to develop a 200 MW floating offshore wind project at their existing Donghae platform 58 km off the coast of Ulsan City.
Equinor is operating the world’s first full scale commercial floating offshore wind farm off the coast of the UK (Hywind Scotland). In the UK, Equinor operates two large scale offshore wind farms based on bottom fixed technology (Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon). Together with the Arkona windfarm in Germany (owned jointly with EON), these windfarms provide renewable power to more than 1,000,000 homes in Europe. The company is engaged in developing large-scale wind projects offshore the UK, Germany, Poland and the US with Asia a key future market.
“South Korea has large potential and offers attractive opportunities within offshore wind” said Stephen Bull, senior vice president for Wind and Low Carbon in New Energy Solutions in Equinor. “We are pleased to sign a MoU with KNOC to strengthen our collaboration. We look forward to evaluate how we can further expand our portfolio within offshore wind and contribute to develop renewable energy solutions in South Korea”.
Jae-Heon Shim, senior vice president at KNOC, added that executing a MoU with Equinor will become a critical opportunity that will advance to practical steps of floating offshore wind in Korea and that the company plans to actively focus on progress and de-risking studies including feasibility studies in collaboration with Equinor.