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Enbridge continues renewables development with wind, blue ammonia

Pipeline operator expands portfolio of clean energy projects

IMAGE: Enbridge's first wind farm.
Enbridge’s 480-megawatt Saint-Nazaire offshore wind farm, France’s first commercial-scale offshore wind project which went into operations in late 2022. (Courtesy Cbeyssier)

Enbridge Inc. has announced participation in two renewable energy projects — an offshore wind farm off the coast of France and a blue ammonia project in Texas, as it continues its diversification from the oil and gas pipeline industry.

The company was selected by the French government, along with EDF Renewables, a subsidiary of French utility EDF Group, to develop the one-gigawatt capacity Normandy wind farm.

Calgary-headquartered Enbridge’s (ENB-T) work on the Centre Manche 1 wind farm will be facilitated via Maple Power Ltd., its joint venture with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

“This decision to participate in the Normandy tender process and subsequent awarding of the project further strengthens Enbridge's visible growth in offshore wind and its role as a leader in the energy transition," Phillip Swartz, Enbridge’s director of offshore wind told SustainableBiz via email.

"It also comes as global energy supply challenges demonstrate that continued investment in reliable, secure, clean and affordable energy is needed.”

Maple Power, established in 2019, is a joint venture that originates, develops, invests in and manages fixed bottom and floating offshore wind projects in Europe. With its partners and shareholders, it manages a gross portfolio of 3.2 gigawatts of European offshore wind projects.

The ammonia project will be a joint venture with Oslo, Norway-based Yara Clean Ammonia. The facility will be located at the Enbridge Ingleside Energy Center near Corpus Christi, Texas.

The Normandy wind farm

The fourth offshore wind tender launched by the French government, the Normandy project was awarded to Eoliennes en Mer Manche Normandie, a company owned by EDF Renewables and Maple Power. It will sit 32 kilometres off the north coast and is expected to be commissioned around 2030.

It is expected to supply enough electricity to meet the needs of approximately 1.5 million people.

Swartz said Enbridge has been investing in European offshore wind assets since 2012 with its partners.

"The Normandy offshore wind farm will be Enbridge, EDF Renewables and its partners' sixth offshore wind project in France, and France’s largest offshore wind project," he added.

Enbridge’s other wind projects include France’s first offshore wind farm, off the coast of Saint-Nazaire (480 megawatts), which went into operation in late 2022. The 500-megawatt Fécamp and 450-megawatt Calvados farms and the 25-megawatt Provence Grand Large floating offshore pilot project are under construction.

EDF Renewables and Enbridge are also pursuing the development of the 600-megawatt Dunkirk offshore wind farm. CPP Investments, EDF and Enbridge plan to participate in the upcoming Brittany and Mediterranean floating offshore wind tender processes, with an expected capacity of 750 megawatts.

With its partners, Enbridge's current operating investment in Europe includes the 400-megawatt Rampion offshore wind farm off the coast of England, the 497-megawatt Hohe See, and the 112-megawatt Albatros offshore wind farms in the North Sea, off the coast of Germany.

Last year, Enbridge acquired Dallas, Texas.-based Tri Global Energy. which according to Swartz is the third-largest onshore wind developer in the U.S. It has more than seven gigawatts of potential renewable generation and Enbridge’s focus will be on advancing those projects.

Enbridge and Yara

Enbridge also announced a joint-venture with fertilizer maker Yara to make blue ammonia - ammonia derived from natural gas that will also capture the produced carbon dioxide. Once production begins in 2027 or 2028, it is expected to supply 1.2 million to 1.4 million tonnes of blue ammonia per year.

Approximately 95 per cent of the carbon dioxide generated from production is expected to be transported to nearby permanent geologic storage.

Pending FEED study approval, the total cost is estimated to be between approximately $3.4 billion to $3.8 billion.

Enbridge's Texas Eastern Transmission Pipeline is expected to provide the feed gas for the production process. According to a release, Enbridge, along with Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, is advancing a nearby carbon dioxide sequestration hub for the project.

Yara, a subsidiary of Yara International ASA, operates the largest global ammonia network with 15 ships and access to 18 ammonia terminals and multiple ammonia production and consumption sites across the world. It will contract the full off-take of the facility's blue ammonia.

Enbridge’s renewables developments

Enbridge has a company-wide goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

“Enbridge was an early investor in renewable energy with our first wind farm in 2002 and we’ll take a similar approach with new energies,” Swartz said. “We continue to build on two decades of experience in renewable energy to advance new technologies including wind and solar power, hydrogen, renewable natural gas and carbon capture and storage.”

In 2018, the company launched a power-to-gas facility in Markham, Ont. that was leveraged in 2021 to start blending hydrogen into its distribution system. Currently 3,600 homes are receiving natural gas with a two per cent hydrogen blend, and Enbridge is continuing work to upgrade the hub.

The company also launched the energy-as-a-service, Enbridge Sustain in December for its Ontario customers. In March, it announced a US$1-billion deal with Divert Inc. to turn food waste into renewable natural gas.

"As a diversified energy company, we are uniquely positioned to help accelerate the global transition to a cleaner energy future," Swartz said.

Gazifère, an Enbridge subsidiary, and Evolugen, the Canadian operations arm of Brookfield Renewable, are developing an approximately $90-million project involving a 20-megawatt electrolyzer facility built in Gatineau, Que., adjacent to Evolugen's hydroelectric facilities. It is anticipated the project will remove about 15,000 metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year for about 44,000 customers.

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