Denmark’s Ørsted buys Lincoln Clean Energy for US$580m

16 August 2018 Week 32 Issue 621

Danish energy behemoth Ørsted, formerly DONG Energy, is buying the US onshore wind developer Lincoln Clean Energy (LCE) from investment manager I Squared Capital for US$580 million.

It is the first major move by Ørsted into onshore wind for several years.

The company also posted a second-quarter core profit of 3.1 billion Danish kroner (US$482 million), which was in line with expectations. 

The acquisition of LCE follows Ørsted’s identification of the US and Taiwan as the key wind markets outside Europe.

The company had completely divested from onshore wind by the end of 2014, because it faced financial difficulties. It currently has a 25% market share in the offshore wind sector globally and is especially strong in the North Sea.

“We see Lincoln adding further to our critical mass and our presence in the United States,” Ørsted CEO Henrik Poulsen said.

“We see this as a very valuable addition to building a long-term platform for growth in the US market, across technologies,” he added.

In the US, the Danish company’s main entry into the wind market had been the Bay State wind project, to be built in the Atlantic Ocean off Massachusetts.

Co-developed with the utility Eversource, it will include a 55-MW battery-storage project and a 1,600 MW undersea transmission cable. 

With Dominion Energy, it is also developing a small two-turbine offshore demonstration project more than 43 km off the coast of Virginia.

Earlier this month, Ørsted and Dominion filed a petition with state regulators seeking permission to build the project.

Then on August 9, the partners announced that the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project would use two units of Siemens Gamesa’s 6-MW SWT-6.0-154 wind turbines.

The acquisition of LCE comes as Ørsted has completed its exit from fossil fuels, becoming a renewable-energy entity entirely. To this end, in November it changed its name from DONG Energy. The same year, it sold its oil and gas business to Ineos.

In June, Ørsted announced that it had won 920-MW in offshore wind projects off Taiwan following the outcome of the first offshore wind auction by Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Ørsted has yet to make a final investment decision, but it expects the projects to be built by 2025. The Danish company’s winning bid price was 2,548 Taiwanese dollars (US$82.5) per MWh.

Edited by

Richard Lockhart


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