Total Becomes Latest Oil Major to Enter Floating Wind Market

France’s Total announced two significant wind deals in recent
days, becoming the latest oil company to push into floating
offshore wind as it builds on its existing momentum in the solar
market.

Total this week bought an 80 percent share of the 96-megawatt
Erebus floating wind project in the Celtic Sea from developer
Simply Blue Energy.

Then on Friday the company confirmed its Total Quadran
subsidiary had acquired developer Global Wind Power (GWP) France
from its Danish parent, adding a 1-gigawatt portfolio of wind
projects in France.

Fellow European oil majors Shell and BP have built-up
gigawatt-scale renewables portfolios, but the pace of Total’s
recent activity could see it outshine them both.

Total has 3 gigawatts of renewalbes within its 7-gigawatt low
carbon portfolio. By 2040, the company aims to derive 15-20
percent of its revenue from its low-carbon business.

Earlier this year, Total
bought a 50 percent share of
Adani’s 2.1-gigawatt
portfolio of operational solar assets in
India for $510 million. In February, it signed two solar deals in
Spain, including an outright acquisition of developer Solarbay’s
1.2-gigawatt development pipeline. And Total was part of the
winning partnership in Qatar’s most-recent solar tender for an

800-megawatt project
.

Floating offshore wind gains more momentum

The Erebus project off the coast of Wales will utilize
floating foundations from Principle Power, the same technology used
by the ENGIE and EDP-led Windplus consortium. Windplus is behind
the
WindFloat Atlantic
pilot off the coast of Portugal, which
includes the world’s largest floating turbine.

The Erebus project will be built in water depths of 70 meters.
According to WindEurope, the average depth for offshore wind
projects with fixed foundations is
33 meters
. Being able to exploit greater depths also means more
viable seabed and more gigawatts of deployment.

Expertise in subsea engineering developed by the North Sea oil
industry has a number of overlaps with the technology and project
management required for floating wind.

“Floating offshore wind is an extremely promising and
technical segment where Total brings its extensive expertise in
offshore operations & maintenance. Total has the appropriate
skills to meet the technological and financial requirements that
determine the success of future floating offshore developments,”
Total CEO Patrick Pouyanné said in a statement.

Pouyanné’s view is shared by many of Total’s peers in
Europe’s offshore oil industry. Equinor has led the way with the
30-megawatt Hywind Scotland project installed back in 2017. It is
now developing the 88-megawatt
Hywind Tampen
site that will power two of the company’s North
Sea drilling operations.


Shell acquired
the offshore wind developer Eolfi last year.
Repsol is a junior partner in the Windplus consortium.

Source: FS – GreenTech Media
Total Becomes Latest Oil Major to Enter Floating Wind Market