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9 August 2018

Ørsted buys US firm to enter onshore wind market

Ørsted has announced the purchase of renewables developer Lincoln Clean Energy (LCE) for $580 million.

The acquisition is the first move from the Danish green energy company into the US onshore wind market.

LCE has built out 513 megawatts of onshore wind and solar, spread across Texas, California and New Jersey. A further 300 MW is under construction and 1,500MW in development.

Ørsted first entered the US in 2015, but its concerns have largely been concentrated to offshore wind and additional interests in battery storage and solar power.

The company is one of the world leaders in offshore wind and operates a large fleet of projects in Europe, notably in the UK. In the US, it currently has the rights to build the Bay State Wind project off the coast of Massachusetts, which could be operational by 2020.

Henrik Poulsen, CEO of Ørsted, said the purchase will provide a “strong growth platform” for to expand in the US, seen as a key market for the company.

“The global market for onshore wind power is expected to grow significantly in the coming years, and the US is a leading onshore wind market.

“(The purchase) is an investment case with healthy economics based on prudent assumptions about key value drivers and market developments,” he added.

Declan Flanagan, CEO of Lincoln Clean Energy, added: “The Lincoln team is excited to join Ørsted and to work toward our shared goal of creating a world that runs entirely on green energy. This transaction will enhance our project execution and growth trajectory.”

The buyout is still subject to approval from US competition authorities, but is expected to close by the end of the year.

In recent years, Ørsted has made the transition away from its historic reliance on fossil fuels to become an entirely renewables-based company. As a result, it dropped its old name of DONG (Danish Oil and Natural Gas) last year.

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