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Orsted to add jobs after Brookfield Renewable Ireland deal

Deal for €571m marks Danish wind company’s entry into the European onshore market

Brookfield Renewable Ireland is a developer, owner, and operator of onshore wind farms.

Danish wind company Orsted will be “hiring significantly” in Ireland following an agreement with Brookfield Renewable to acquire a 100 per cent equity interest in its existing Ireland and UK onshore wind business for €571 million.

The global owner and operator of renewable assets said the acquisition of Brookfield Renewable Ireland (BRI) was based on an enterprise valuation as of December 31st. The final price will be subject to customary adjustments.

The acquisition marks Orsted’s entry into the European onshore market. BRI, headquartered in Co Cork, is a developer, owner, and operator of onshore wind farms.

It has a portfolio of 389 MW in operation and under construction, 149 MW in advanced development, and more than 1 GW of development pipeline in Ireland and the UK.

Declan Flanagan, chief executive of Orsted’s onshore business unit, said the group would seek to grow BRI “quite aggressively and ambitiously”.

“There are projects in Ireland at advanced stage development that we will be moving into construction next year,” he said.

“We’ll very much be growing the 70 person team down in Cork. We will be in Ireland and Cork for the long-term, and we will be adding professional jobs. Very well credentialed, educated professionals, and we’ll be hiring significantly in Cork and then around the country.”

Orsted entered the onshore renewables business in 2018 with an initial focus on the US. Today, its onshore business has an operating and in construction portfolio of 4 GW of wind and solar and a strong pipeline of further projects in development.

The growth over the past year ranks the business among the five largest US constructors in terms of onshore capacity additions since 2017.

The company said it has been evaluating opportunities to enter the onshore renewables business in Europe.

Orsted chief executive Mads Nipper said: “In the US, we’ve built a strong onshore business with 4 GW in operation and under construction.

“The European market for onshore wind power is expected to grow significantly in the coming years, and with the acquisition of BRI, we get a strong platform that expands our presence in onshore renewables to Europe, allowing us to continue our successful expansion of our onshore renewables business.”

BRI’s existing management team will continue to run the business which will be integrated into Orsted’s onshore business unit over time. The transaction is expected to close by the second quarter of this year.

Orsted said the announcement would not change its previous guidance for the financial year 2021. Subject to closing of the transaction, the expected investment level for 2021 will increase with the purchase price.

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