"Danish wind farm company could change game in N.E.; DONG Energy brings deep pockets and a long track record to its bid to build a massive wind farm off Martha’s Vineyard" by Jon Chesto Globe Staff November 13, 2015
Six months ago, few New Englanders had heard of DONG Energy. But that is likely to change soon as the Danish company with a quirky acronym for a name pursues its plans to build a massive offshore wind farm south of Martha’s Vineyard.
The roughly $10 billion-a-year behemoth is already a major player in the European energy market, with deep pockets and a nearly 25-year track record of building turbines in the ocean, making it the global leader in the offshore wind business.
That history will prove helpful as DONG eyes a North American expansion from its new office in Boston’s Financial District. The company’s expertise and its ability to dedicate more than $1 billion a year to offshore projectscould give it a significant edge over two other wind developers that also have rights for federal waters south of New England.
Going to really stick it to you, huh?
“[DONG has] more experience than pretty much anybody in the world at this point,” said James Manwell, a professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and director of its wind energy center. “The fact they decided to come over here, it’s a bit of a gamble, but maybe they feel they have enough experience that it’s worth the gamble.”
The Danish government-owned company got its start managing fossil-fuel projects in the North Sea four decades ago. Its name, translated, stands for Danish Oil and Natural Gas, a reference to those early ventures.
In 2006, several Danish energy companies were merged into one company under the DONG umbrella.
Samuel Leupold, the head of DONG’s wind operations, said the company recognized that the offshore wind industry was starting to develop in the United States. It made sense, if just for competitive reasons, for it to figure out a way into this nascent market.
“We’re the current number one,” Leupold said. “Why should we give up that position? If the market is moving outside Europe, the success story we have in Europe can be repeated.”
Despite the competition from the Danish company, the two other wind farm developers say they are not threatened. But right now, there’s power in numbers. All three want to convince politicians and the public that they’ll be more effective than Cape Wind....
Look how late it has gotten!
I need to get to bed; already set the alarm for midnight so I can get a running start for the big blog day tomorrow.