Shell looks beyond Dutch waters for offshore wind investments

Royal Dutch Shell Plc may contract to build offshore wind farms in the U.K. and across Europe, after winning a bid to build one of the cheapest projects on record last year, Shell U.K. chair Sinead Lynch, said in an interview.

Europe’s biggest oil supplier is exploring opportunities across Europe for offshore wind, Lynch said at a press event on Wednesday at a Shell service station outside London, where she was opening the company’s first U.K. hydrogen refueling station.

Shell in December won a bid with Eneco Holding NV, Van Oord NV and a unit of Mitsubishi Corp. to build the Borssele III and IV wind farms with a combined capacity of 680 megawatts near the Dutch port city Zeeland. The power-purchase contracts to supply electricity at 5.45 euro cents (5.7 U.S. cents) a kilowatt-hour were the second-cheapest ever worldwide and slightly higher than the 4.99 euro cents a kilowatt-hour contract that Vattenfall won in September to build Denmark’s Kriegers Flak offshore wind farm.

“We are looking long and hard at how we might build a business in offshore wind,’’ she said.

Offshore wind meets Shell’s criteria for new technology investments of having scale, and being an area where it can compete “and win,’’ she said. Its experience in complex offshore project management naturally lends itself to the emerging renewable technology.

“It’s also about marketing energy so once you produce your wind you need to market the power,’’ she said.

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