One Of The World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm Developers Takes An Interest In The US

Tim Pearce | Energy Reporter

A Danish offshore wind developer is looking to buy out Deepwater Wind, a Rhode Island-based offshore wind company, for $510 million.

The Danish company Orsted is one of the largest offshore wind energy businesses in the world. Acquiring Deepwater Wind would allow Orsted easier access to U.S. markets that have recently began to invest in offshore wind energy, The New York Times reports.

“With this transaction we’re creating the number one offshore wind platform in North America, merging the best of two worlds: Deepwater Wind’s longstanding expertise in originating, developing and permitting offshore wind projects in the US, and Orsted’s unparalleled track-record in engineering, constructing, and operating large-scale offshore wind farms,” Orsted CEO of offshore wind Martin Neubert said in a statement Monday.

The announcement comes a week after Orsted completed a deal to acquire the onshore wind energy developer Lincoln Clean Energy branching out Orsted’s core operations. (RELATED: Clean Energy CEO Admits Offshore Wind Is ‘Terrible Policy’)

Orsted operates in several countries outside of Denmark, including Britain, Germany and Taiwan. The company also has rights to build offshore wind farms off the coasts of Massachusetts, New Jersey and Virginia in the U.S.

Deepwater Wind is leading the United States’ relatively small offshore wind energy sector. The company operates the Block Island offshore wind farm off the coast of New Jersey. Block Island is the only working offshore wind farm in the U.S. and cost roughly $300 million to build, or $150,000 for each of the 2,000 homes it supplies with power.

While Orsted’s actions suggest the company sees a future in offshore wind energy production in the U.S., others in the energy industry are far more skeptical of the offshore wind’s long-term viability.

“It is a moonshot in terms of building in terms of finding people who actually know what they’re doing from a construction standpoint. It’s terrible energy policy and that it’s really expensive,” NextEra Energy CEO James Robo said during a first quarter earnings conference call in April. Robo had been asked why his company had not made bids on offshore wind leases.

“On — in terms of international, this industry has — honestly a pretty lousy track record in international,” Robo added.

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