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Orsted's Q2 offshore wind output up 20% on year despite subdued wind speeds

Highlights

2.6 TWh generated, Q2 wind speed flat vs 16% hike in Q1

7 GW online, 3 GW in construction, 5 GW secured pending FID

Flags Hornsea 2 delay risk, German FIDs set for 2021

London — Danish energy company Orsted Aug. 12 said its second-quarter offshore wind generation increased 20% year on year amid subdued wind speeds after a 48% jump in Q1.

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Wind speeds came to a portfolio average of 8 meters per second, unchanged on year after averaging 12 meters per second (up 16% on the year) in Q1.

Wind farm availability of 95% was above Q2 2019.

In total, 2.6 TWh were generated from now almost 7 GW installed offshore wind capacity mainly in UK, German and Danish waters, up 1.2 GW on year after the start of the world's biggest offshore wind farm Hornsea 1.

First power was achieved in May at its 752-MW Borssele 1, 2 project in Dutch waters, on track for commissioning in October.

However, increased risk of delays were flagged for Hornsea 2 and Greater Changhua 1, 2a off Taiwan, which Orsted described as the part of its portfolio "most affected by COVID-19."

Substations for both projects are being constructed at two shipyards in Singapore, which were closed down for two months due to the coronavirus pandemic, it said adding that the shipyards have now slowly begun to ramp-up again.

"Although we still expect to be able to complete both projects within our budget and time schedule, we see increased risk of delays; especially at Hornsea 2," it said.

The 1.4-GW project in the North Sea would be the world's biggest wind farm scheduled to start in the first half of 2022.

In addition to the 3 GW under construction, Orsted has secured another 5 GW offshore wind concessions awaiting final investment decisions, with its 1.1-GW portfolio in the German North Sea now set for FID in 2021, 3 GW on the US East Coast post-2020 and 900 MW off Taiwan in 2023.

A busy 2021 tender schedule underlines Orsted's growing geographical footprint with over 10 GW to be auctioned in the US, UK, Japan, Taiwan, the Netherlands, Germany, France and Denmark.

Overall, operating profit (EBIT) for the first six months rose 11% on year to DKK9.8 billion ($1.5 billion), the world's biggest offshore wind developer that changed its name from DONG said.

"We have however seen negative COVID-19 related effects on European power markets, especially in the UK, driven by lower demand for electricity," said CEO Henrik Poulsen, who will leave the company in early 2021.

Orsted said it was continuing to explore industrial-scale production of renewable hydrogen especially with three pilot projects in the UK (Gigastack based on 100-MW electrolyzer using output from Hornsea 2), Germany (Westkueste 100 secured funding for a 30-MW electrolyzer using German North Sea wind at Heide refinery to be scaled up to 700 MW if successful) and the "Green fuels for Denmark" project together with Copenhagen Airport, Moller - Maersk, DSV Panalpina and SAS in what could become one of the world's largest electrolyzer projects.

Both Denmark and Germany significantly boosted 2030 offshore wind targets in Q2, while the UK targets 40 GW by 2030.