Danes put offshore wind site up for sale

Described by the Danish government as a bellwether in 2009, the 21MW site is now being touted to local and foreign investors.

Danish state-owned infrastructure firm Sund & Baelt has made one of the country’s earlier offshore wind farms available for sale.

The 21MW Sprogo Offshore Wind Farm is being sold through an open tender in a move Sund & Baelt said would guarantee the best price from a broad range of either Danish or foreign investors. Sund & Baelt has not stated an expected price for the site, built in 2009 at a cost of about Dkr 400 million ($63.1 million; €53.7 million).

Any foreign investment in the project would represent a significant step in the Danish offshore wind market. Just one of Denmark’s 13 operational offshore wind sites is owned by a non-Danish investor, with Sweden’s Vattenfall owning 60 percent of the Horns Rev I asset, although the state-owned utility has two additional offshore projects set to be built, as well as one nearshore site.

“We believe it is a good time to sell the wind turbines as there is increasing awareness of the importance of green energy in both Denmark and across Europe,” said Mikkel Hemmingsen, chief executive of Sund & Baelt. “We are committed to that agenda, but we also believe that the wind farm can be run more efficiently by a larger player in the market. We are currently implementing a new business strategy, and the sale of the turbines will mean that we can focus solely on infrastructure and payment management.”

Sprogo Offshore became fully operational in December 2009 and the electricity generated by the project powers the Great Belt rail link between the Sprogo island and Zealand, with any surplus electricity is sold into the electricity market. The project was praised by the then Danish Transport Minister Lars Barfoed as a “precedent” for climate-friendly solutions in the transport sector.

Sund & Baelt has set a deadline of 22 November for non-binding bids for the site and a 26 January target for binding bids. The sales process is expected to be fully completed by June next year.