Ørsted makes European onshore wind return

The Danish developer has agreed to acquire 100% of Brookfield Renewable's UK and Irish onshore wind portfolio

Ørsted CEO Mads Nipper expects the European onshore wind market to grow significantly in the coming years
Ørsted CEO Mads Nipper expects the European onshore wind market to grow significantly in the coming years

Ørsted has reentered the European onshore renewables business with an agreement to acquire a developer with a 1GW-plus onshore wind pipeline in the UK and Ireland.

The Danish firm has agreed to buy a 100% interest in Brookfield Renewable's existing Ireland and UK onshore wind business, Brookfield Renewable Ireland (BRI).

BRI has 389MW of onshore wind farms under construction or in operation in Ireland and the UK, 149MW in advanced development, and a further 1GW-plus in various stages of development.

The transaction is based on an enterprise value of €571 million as of 31 December 2020. However, the final price will be subject to customary adjustments.

It is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021.

Ørsted CEO Mads Nipper said: "The European market for onshore wind power is expected to grow significantly in the coming years, and with the acquisition of BRI, we get a strong platform that expands our presence in onshore renewables to Europe, allowing us to continue our successful expansion of our onshore renewables business.”

Ørsted (then Dong Energy) ended its involvement in onshore wind with the divestment of two final shareholdings – shares in a Swedish wind farm and a Norwegian project development company – in 2014.

However, it re-entered the onshore renewables business in 2018, with an initial focus on the US. It now has 4GW of onshore wind and solar projects in operation and under construction.

Earlier this week, CEO Nipper told Danish business newspaper Børsen that the developer was looking to re-enter European onshore renewables.

Declan Flanagan, CEO of Ørsted’s onshore business unit added: "The Irish and UK onshore markets offer attractive fundamentals, projects at scale, and value creation through a mix of development projects and repowering opportunities. 

“Furthermore, we can leverage the BRI team’s market-leading offtake capabilities within trading and corporate PPAs with direct synergies to Ørsted’s existing efforts in the UK.”

BRI’s existing management team will continue to run the business, which will be integrated into Ørsted’s onshore business unit over time.

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