Ørsted reaches new offshore wind milestone with turbine number 1,500

Source: press release, 11 June 2020

illustration: Ørsted
illustration: Ørsted

Ørsted has reached another milestone in its expanding offshore wind business with the installation of offshore wind turbine 1,500. Ørsted is set to more than double its offshore wind capacity in the coming 5 years using ever larger turbines.

When Ørsted recently installed the 25th of Borssele 1 & 2’s 8 MW wind turbines, it was also the 1,500th offshore wind turbine installed by Ørsted.

Ørsted is the first offshore wind developer to reach this significant milestone. Before construction start at Borssele 1 & 2, Ørsted had already installed 6.8 GW offshore wind capacity globally, which annually supplies green electricity for the equivalent of 6.6 million households. Ørsted is currently constructing 3 GW of offshore wind and aims to have installed a total of 15 GW by 2025 in Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Taiwan, UK and the US.

Anders Lindberg, Executive Vice President, Offshore EPC & QHSE, says, “Offshore wind has matured at a rapid pace and can now be considered a cornerstone in the green transformation many places in the world. The 1,500 offshore wind turbines installed by Ørsted will contribute significantly to a greener future, but there’s no doubt that the potential of offshore wind reaches far beyond that. Today, offshore wind power is not only a clean, but also a cost-competitive alternative to power generated by burning of fossil fuels.”

In 2019, the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimated that offshore wind power, even if only confined to windy regions within 60 km from shore, has the potential to globally generate up to 36,000 terawatt hours of renewable electricity per year. That would outstrip current global electricity demand of 23,000 terawatt hours. The IEA also concluded that offshore wind power could become the largest source of electricity generation in Europe by 2040. According to European Commission scenarios, Europe will need 450 GW of offshore wind power to reach zero emissions by 2050. This is roughly 20 times more offshore wind power than has been installed today.

Ørsted installed the world’s first offshore wind turbine at Vindeby, Denmark, in 1991. The entire offshore wind farm, consisting of 11 turbines, had a capacity of 5 MW – a lot less than the capacity of a single modern offshore wind turbine. In 2012, 21 years after Vindeby, Ørsted installed its 500th turbine, which was achieved at Walney Offshore Wind Farm in the UK. The 1,000th followed only 4 years later at the German Gode Wind 1 & 2 project.