Danish energy giant Orsted is switching to onshore wind under a new $ 684 million contract

Close up of a wind turbine nacelle on a blue sky.

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Orsted announced on Friday that it had entered into an agreement with Brookfield Renewable to acquire a 100% interest in the Irish and UK onshore wind business Brookfield Renewable Ireland.

Orsted said the deal would allow entry into the European onshore market. In 2014, the company, then known as DONG Energy, sold its last onshore wind activities to focus on the offshore sector.

According to Orsted, the agreement has a company valuation of 571 million euros ($ 684 million), although that number is subject to adjustments. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021.

Brookfield Renewable Ireland (BRI) is headquartered in the Irish city of Cork and specializes in the development and operation of onshore wind farms.

Orsted described BRI as “an attractive portfolio” that includes 389 megawatts (MW) in operation and under construction and a development pipeline of over 1 gigawatt (GW).

“In the US we have built a strong onshore business with 4 GW in operation and under construction,” Orsted CEO Mads Nipper said in a statement.

“The European market for onshore wind power is expected to grow significantly in the coming years,” added Nipper.

He went on to say that his company’s acquisition of BRI would “provide a strong platform to expand our presence in onshore renewable energy into Europe”.

There is a well-developed wind energy industry in Europe. According to WindEurope, 14.7 GW of wind energy capacity was installed there in 2020.

According to the industry association, 80% of these plants were in the onshore area, with the total onshore capacity being 194 GW.

In the US, onshore capacity is more than 122 GW, according to the American Clean Power Association. China, a dominant force in wind energy, has over 278 GW of onshore capacity, according to the Global Wind Energy Council.

Capacity refers to the maximum amount installations can produce, not the amount they necessarily produce.

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