Ørsted's offshore wind earnings increase

An increase in earnings from Ørsted's offshore wind farms softened the blow of settling an arbitration case over the award of a gas purchase contract in the first quarter of 2019.

Ørsted fully commissioned the 659MW Walney Extension project off the west coast of England in May 2018
Ørsted fully commissioned the 659MW Walney Extension project off the west coast of England in May 2018

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The developer recorded an operating profit (Ebitda) of DKK 5.1 billion (€683 million) for Q1 2019, down 7% from a year ago.

It stated that this fall was expected due to compensation awarded following settlement of an arbitration case stemming from a contract awarded in Q1 2018.

Ørsted did not provide further details of the compensation.

The fall was partly offset by a 13% increase in earnings from operational offshore wind farms (DKK 3.6 billion) and earnings from new onshore wind farms (DKK 152 million), the company stated.

Ørsted completed the 659MW Walney Extension in May 2018, and its 465MW Borkum Riffgrund site in December 2018 and the ramp up of these projects contributed to the quarter's peformance. 

Meanwhile, it was the first operational quarter of its new onshore business unit following the acquisition of Lincoln Clean Energy in October 2018.

Ørsted and various project partners also entered bids for offshore projects in France, the Netherlands and New York, in the first quarter of 2019.

It expects the results from these three tenders — as well as two further auctions in Rhode Island and New Jersey — to be announced in the next three months, CEO Henrik Poulsen said.

Alongside publication of its Q1 2019 results, Ørsted also announced that it had agreed to acquire a subsidiary of utility-scale solar and storage developer Coronal Energy. The US-based company is backed by Japanese technology giant Panasonic.

"We continue to work on expanding our development portfolio to create a strong North American platform within onshore wind, solar energy and energy storage", said CEO Poulsen.

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