Lego buys into offshore wind energy

GERMANY: Lego-owner the Kirkbi Group has acquired a 32% share in the 277MW Borkum Riffgrund 1 offshore project from Dong Energy.

In addition to Kirkbi, Dong has sold an additional 18% to the Oticon investment group. The move is part of Dong's strategy of selling off the 50% shares in its offshore projects. The total deal is worth DKK 4.7 billion (€633 million).

Borkum Riffgrund 1 consists of 77 3.6MW Siemens turbines. Under the deal, Dong has committed to completing the project by a fixed date and price. The two companies will begin receiving a return on their investment on 1 October 2015. Any income prior to that date will go to Dong.

The terms of the deal are similar to Dong's DKK6 billion (€804 million) deal with two pension funds - PensionDanmark and PKA - over the Anholt offshore project in March last year.

Speaking to Windpower Monthly last year, Dong CEO Anders Eldrup said it was part of the company's strategy to sell off parts of its developments in order to secure more funding for new projects. He said: "We would rather have two wind farms where we own 50% rather than one where we own 100%."

This is not Lego's first involvement in the wind sector. The company is also a founder member of the WindMade trade standard for companies and brands who have invested in wind energy. The brand wants to 100% of its energy needs to come from renewables by 2020.

Speaking about the deal, Lego Group CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp said: "One of our fundamental values is that we want to help enable future generations of children to grow up in a better world. We do that first and foremost through our play materials – but also by improving the safety of our employees, improving the energy efficiency of our production, and reducing the volume of waste.

"In the field of renewable energy our objective is an ambitious one – and I am very pleased at this time to be able to announce this investment."

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