Aker Solutions eyes winning lease for offshore wind power in California

Aker Solutions expects to win a lease off California to build a floating wind farm as part of a wider consortium, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

The project is aimed to help the State of California to reach its ambition to become carbon neutral and use 100 percent clean electricity by 2045.

“We’ve applied and we believe that it (lease) would be awarded to us… There are only two companies which have proven floating wind technology,” Aker Solutions Chief Executive Luis Araujo told Reuters.

The two are California-based Principle Power, where Aker Solutions is a minority shareholder, and Norway’s Equinor, which built the world’s first floating wind farm off Scotland in 2017.

Aker Solutions, which provides engineering services for oil and gas industry, is betting on offshore wind as its new growth segment.

“It’s a very promising area… there is big interest in (offshore floating wind) also in China, South Korean and Brazil,” Araujo said.

“We don’t foresee revenues to come to us until 2020-2021, but are positioned very well… We have competence in building floating oil structures,” he added.

The partners of the consortium bidding for the lease off California said their longer-term goal was to make Humboldt Bay a central hub for the U.S. west coast offshore wind industry.

In September, Redwood Coast Energy Authority (RCEA) and a consortium of private companies that includes Aker Solutions applied for a lease to build a 100-150 megawatt floating offshore wind farm off the coast of Humboldt County by 2024.