Anglo-Dutch supermajor Shell has teamed up with Norwegian power companies BKK and Lyse as they set their sights on winning offshore wind licences in Norway.

The trio revealed on Thursday they will apply for licences in both of the fields that are being opened for development: Sorlige Nordsjo 2 and Utsira Nord.

The trio recently signed an agreement forging the alliance, while work to prepare the two applications is already under way.

Norwegian authorities will open bidding for an offshore wind power generation of 1500 megawatts at Utsira Nord and 3000MW at Sorlige Nordsjo 2.

Norske Shell managing director Marianne Olsnes said: "Through this [partnership], we can trigger growth of jobs in a new and sustainable part of the Norwegian energy sector. Together we bring the best of global and local expertise into a joint project."

A joint statement on Thursday said that the partnership sees Sorlige Nordsjo 2, located on the Danish maritime border, as ideal for future connection of energy supplies to continental Europe.

"Both fields are challenging with regards to technology and development solutions, but the partnership represents competence and capacity that has moved the limits of what has been seen as possible before," the statement read.

Shell's general manager for offshore wind in Europe, Hessel de Jong, said the company sees Norway as interesting both from the perspective of supplying enough renewable energy to Europe and for the development of floating wind solutions that can become commercially viable.

"To us, Lyse and BKK are also valuable partners in a global context, with expertise in hydropower and grid infrastructure," he said

Development solutions

While the Sorlige Nordsjo 2 tract challenges existing technology for bottom-fixed solutions, Utsira Nord demands innovation in floating technology.

"We have not pre-selected any technologies or suppliers. Our projects represent great opportunities for the Norwegian offshore industry, which is world-class when it comes to innovation, quality and safety," said Lyse chief executive Eimund Nygaard.

He said the alliance aims to be a platform where Norwegian suppliers can develop competitive advantages to succeed in international tenders.

As utility companies, BKK and Lyse have expertise in renewable energy production, development of complex infrastructure, energy trading and utilising interconnectors between Norway and Europe.

BKK chief executive Jannicke Hilland said two forms of renewable power — wind and hydroelectric — are complementary.

"The North Sea has one of the best wind resources in the world. When this produces, we can hold back the water in our reservoirs. In calm periods, we can cover the demand for power by phasing in hydro-production," she said.

Hilland said BKK is aiming to contribute to the electrification of oil and gas infrastructure and to connect the offshore wind potential of the southern North Sea to relevant markets in Europe.