February 10, 2021 Read More →

Orsted buys stake in Polish utility’s offshore wind development project


Poland’s biggest utility PGE SA teamed up with Denmark’s Orsted A/S to build a wind farm in the Baltic Sea as the coal-reliant central European country moves ahead with a $35 billion plan to clean up its power generation.

Orsted, the world’s biggest offshore wind-park developer, agreed to buy a 50% stake in PGE’s 2.5-gigawatt project for 657 million zloty ($178 million), according to a statement published by the Polish company on Wednesday. Wind farms are poised to become Poland’s biggest energy project, with the government expecting to spend around 130 billion zloty by 2040 to build more than 10 gigawatts of power on the Baltic Sea.

The push comes in sync with an unprecedented environmental overhaul in the European Union, which is targeting stricter emission-reduction targets in the coming decade and climate neutrality by 2050. To spur investment in clean technologies, the EU is making its so-called Green Deal a key pillar of its historic $2.2 trillion budget and stimulus package.

PGE and Orsted had been in exclusive talks about the wind energy project since 2019. The Polish utility, which wants to build two farms with capacities of 1 gigawatt and 1.5 gigawatts, needs its partner’s know-how and capital to have its first turbines at sea producing electricity by 2026.

The Danish company has installed almost a quarter of global offshore capacity and has moved into the U.S. and Taiwan. The global offshore market has opened up as costs to produce the renewable energy technology have plummeted and pressure to cut carbon emissions on governments has mounted.

[Ewa Krukowska and Maciej Martewicz]

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