Oman took a giant leap toward establishing itself as a global hydrogen hub, sealing three agreements this week for a combined total investment of more than $20 billion.

The agreements for three projects were signed by Energy Development Oman’s Hydrom with BP Oman, Green Energy Oman and Amnah. The projects could lead to total production capacity of 500,000 tonnes of green hydrogen per annum from more than 12 gigawatts (GW) of installed renewable energy capacity, Oman’s Foreign Ministry said June 1.

Each area covers about 320 sq km in the Al Wusta Governorate and is part of Oman’s first green hydrogen blocks. The public auction process was launched last year.

“Today, with the completion of the regulatory framework, sector structure, first investment opportunities, and block awarding mechanisms, the Sultanate of Oman is at the forefront of taking its first serious steps towards green hydrogen production among other nations,” Oman Energy Minister Salim Al Aufi said in a news release. “In the coming years, Oman is poised to become one of the leading countries in green hydrogen production.”

Here’s a look at other renewable energy news.


Plug Power Moves to Boost Hydrogen

New York-headquartered Plug Power said on May 30 it plans to develop three green hydrogen production plants in Finland costing about $6.5 billion, eyeing exports to strengthen Europe’s energy security.

The plants—which will be located in Kokkola, Kristinestad and Porvoo, Finland—are expected to produce 850 tons of green hydrogen per day using Plug Power’s PEM electrolyzer and liquefaction technology. The combined electrolyzer capacity for the three plants, 2.2 GW by the end of the decade, accounts for 5% of the RePower EU plan, Plug Power said.

Plug Power
New York-headquartered Plug Power said on May 30 it plans to develop three green hydrogen production plants in Finland costing about $6.5 billion, eyeing exports to strengthen Europe’s energy security. (Source: Plug Power)

“Plug is happy to be making this investment in Finland – especially as seen with the three land agreements,” Plug Power CEO Andy Marsh told Hart Energy in a statement. “We are about to put ample resources into the country to allow us to get to FID [final investment decision] by 2025/2026.”

Based on Plug Power’s experience building a green hydrogen plant at the Port of Antwerp, Marsh said the plants announced on May 30 would cost about 2.5 million euros to 3 million euros per megawatt (MW). At 2.2 GW, that’s equivalent to about US$6 billion to US$7 billion.

The company said it has started talks with financial investors and debt providers as well as industrial partners to seal offtake agreements. Like other renewable asset financing, Plug said it anticipates the capital structure will mostly comprise non-recourse debt.

The Kokkola plant will utilize 1-GW electrolyzers to produce liquid hydrogen and ammonia for local use and export from the Port of Kokkola, Plug Power said. The plant in Kristinestad will produce green steel for export from the port of Kristinestad. Up to 100 tons of hydrogen per day will also be produced in Porvoo by 2030, the company said, noting it will be used for local mobility and exported via pipeline injection to Western Europe.

Partnerships have been lined up with hydrogen provider Hy2Gen for development of the ammonia plant and green iron and steel company GravitHy for development of a direct reduced iron/hot briquetted iron plant, Plug Power said. Working to ensure electric grid capacities and needed hydrogen infrastructure, the company has also signed memorandums of understanding with Fingrid, Finland’s electricity transmission system operator, and Gasgrid, Finland’s natural gas transmission system operator.



Lightsource BP Raises $460MM for Indiana, Louisiana Solar Projects

Lightsource BP said on June 1 it has closed on a $460 million financing package for two solar projects in Indiana and Louisiana.

The 368-MW portfolio consists of the 188-MW Honeysuckle Solar in St. Joseph County, Indiana, which has a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with AEP Energy Partners. The 180-MW Prairie Ronde Solar in St. Landry Parish, La., has a long-term PPA with McDonald’s Corp.

First Solar will provide about 800,000 solar panels for the projects, while Array Technologies will provide smart solar trackers.

Finance partners are Bank of America, ING Capital LLC, Lloyds Banking Group, NatWest and Societe Generale. The balance of equity requirements was supported by Lightsource BP.

Lightsource BP
Lightsource BP says it has raised more than $3.7 billion in financing over the last four years for projects in 11 states across the U.S. (Source: Lightsource BP)

Nexamp Secures Over $400 MM for Community Solar Projects

Community solar developer Nexamp has secured more than $400 million in tax equity and debt commitments for nearly 50 solar and battery storage projects in six U.S. states, the Boston-based company said in a May 31 news release.

Tax equity financing came from U.S. Bancorp Impact Finance with debt commitment from Mitsubishi UFJ Finance Group, Nexamp said in the release. The company noted the financing effort was bolstered by the Inflation Reduction Act, which extended and expanded investment tax credits.

“In order for the U.S. to overcome its reliance on fossil fuels and an outdated power grid, we must invest in affordable and sustainable clean energy solutions that are accessible to all Americans, no matter where they live,” said Nexamp CEO Zaid Ashai. “Nexamp is expanding its reach to meet the critical needs of communities, especially those that are historically underserved, ensuring they’re represented in the transition to a resilient, dynamic and clean energy grid.”

With a total generating capacity of about 250 megawatts direct current (MWdc), enough to power up to 40,000 households, the projects are mostly located in rural communities in Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Minnesota, and Illinois, Nexamp said.

Brookfield Acquires Controlling Stake in India’s CleanMax Solar

Canadian investor Brookfield said on June 1 it had acquired a controlling stake in Indian solar-panel maker CleanMax Enviro Energy Solutions for $360 million.

Brookfield did not specify the size of the stake it acquired but the deal deepens Brookfield’s presence in India, where it has already invested billions in private equity and real estate.

CleanMax operates solar and wind farms as well as rooftop panels for corporate clients in India including Bengaluru airport.

It generates 1.6 GW of clean energy and helps offset 2.5 million tons of CO2 a year, the company said.

“Indian corporates are well aligned with and actively working towards supporting the government’s net zero goals. CleanMax has a proven track record of being an efficient partner to C&I (commercial and industrial) customers, enabling them to achieve their decarbonization targets,” said Nawal Saini, managing director, renewable power and transition, Brookfield.

Shell Acquires 1.1 GW of Solar Projects in Spain

Shell has acquired 12 solar projects in Spain with a total capacity of 1.1 GW from renewables developer Isemaren, its head of renewables generation Thomas Brostrom said May 31.

“Bringing these assets into our portfolio strengthens our presence in one of Europe’s largest solar power markets,” Brostrom said in a post on LinkedIn.

The projects are located in different regions across the country, Shell's Spain country chair Oscar Fernandez said in a separate post.

Shell has in recent months backed out of several renewables and low-carbon projects around the world as CEO Wael Sawan, who took office in January, seeks to focus on higher-return businesses.

Sawan will present investors his new vision for the energy giant's strategy in New York on June 14.



Ørsted, ESB Agree to Jointly Develop Irish Offshore Wind

Ireland utility ESB and Ørsted have teamed up to jointly develop wind projects offshore Ireland, according to a June 2 news release.

As part of the agreement, the two will also explore opportunities for renewable hydrogen, Ørsted said. The partnership could deliver up to 5 GW of renewable energy and hydrogen and comes as Ireland aims for 7 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030.

“This partnership combines complementary strengths relevant to development in this market and creates an ideal platform for Ørsted to bring its global expertise in the delivery of offshore wind to bear in Ireland,” said Duncan Clark, senior vice president and head of UK and Ireland at Ørsted.

With offshore wind portfolios in place, Ørsted and ESB are combining their expertise to expand Ireland’s offshore wind footprint. ESB has about seven offshore wind projects underway in Ireland and Europe.

Ørsted and ESB will be 50-50 partners in the wind developments offshore Ireland.

BOEM Completes Environmental Review of GoM Wind

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has found no significant impacts to environmental resources in its analysis of offshore wind leasing in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM).

“The completion of our environmental review is an important step forward to advance clean energy development in a responsible manner while promoting economic vitality and well-paying jobs in the Gulf of Mexico region,” said BOEM Director Liz Klein. “We will continue to work closely with our task force members, ocean users, and others to ensure that any development in the region is done responsibly and in a way that avoids, reduces, or mitigates potential impacts to ocean users and the marine environment.”

In February, the Interior Department proposed its first-ever offshore wind lease sale in the GoM as it continues efforts to deploy 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030.

The proposed wind lease sale in the GoM, home to vast oil and gas production, would open 102,480 acres offshore Lake Charles, Louisiana, and two areas offshore Galveston, Texas— one for 102,480 acres and the other for 96,786 acres—for wind development. Combined, the areas could power nearly 1.3 million homes with clean energy, according to the Interior Department.

Ørsted Takes Full Ownership of Ocean Wind 1

Denmark’s Ørsted now owns 100% of New Jersey’s first offshore wind farm, Ocean Wind 1, after it closed a deal with Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG).

PSEG said May 31 it has completed the sale of its 25% equity interest in the 1,100-MW project to Ørsted North America, which has reimbursed PSEG for its cumulative outlays in the project.

PSEG said it will provide construction management and environmental permitting services for the project’s onshore substations and transmission cable installation scope as part of a limited transition services agreement.

The utility-scale Ocean Wind 1 is expected to provide enough power for 500,000 homes per day, according to Ørsted.

EDF Enters Partnership to Develop Two Irish Floating Wind Projects

French power giant EDF has entered a joint venture partnership with Irish developer Simply Blue Group to develop two wind farm projects off the Irish coast, the groups said in a press release on May 31.

The projects are the Western Star floating wind farm on the west coast with a total capacity up to 1.4 GW and the Emerald floating wind farm in the south that will have a total capacity up to 1.3 GW.

The projects are expected to generate enough electricity together to power approximately two million homes, the report said.

A merger clearance is expected for the partnership in the coming months.

“The partnership is ideally placed to deliver for Phase 3 of offshore wind in Ireland. This is key to kick-starting floating offshore wind, which will have a transformational positive impact on Ireland’s maritime and energy landscape,” project manager Val Cummins said.


Reuters contributed to this report.