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Danish wind giant plans mass turbine procurement

DONG Energy aims to “industrialise” offshore supply chain by placing continuous orders

DONG Energy aims to “industrialise” the offshore wind supply chain
DONG Energy aims to “industrialise” the offshore wind supply chain

Denmark’s DONG Energy is aiming to bring down the cost of offshore wind projects by harnessing the economies of scale and helping manufacturers “industrialise” component production, the company’s chief executive has said.

Speaking at the opening of DONG’s 367.2 MW Walney offshore wind farm off the UK coastline, Anders Eldrup said the company now wants to buy up offshore wind components continuously, allowing manufacturers to lower their prices.

Eldrup said: “We want to industrialise the way we produce offshore wind farms, so we do them not project by project, but on a continuous basis.” He told reporters that DONG has previously cut costs by placing orders for up to 500 wind turbines to service 4 to 5 of its projects, a system which has also worked well when acquiring turbine foundations.

The company, which bought turbine installation vessel company A2SEA in 2009, is also planning to acquire a much larger vessel from China to increase the efficiency of turbine installation and bring costs down further.

Eldrup added: “We are confident that as this industry matures, which it is doing rapidly, you will be able to bring down costs significantly.”

Offshore wind developers are under increasing pressure to reduce deployment costs, as the financial crisis in Europe threatens financial support for renewables. In the UK, where DONG’s latest wind farm has just opened, the cost of offshore wind is projected to fall to GBP 121-170/MWh by 2020, from GBP 191/MWh today.