Vestas Finishes Quarter With Flurry Of Activity, Restructures China Sales Operations

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June 30th brought with it the end of the financial year in some spots around the world as well as the end of the second quarter, and Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas finished the month with a flurry of activity, announcing 9 wind turbine orders worth 803 megawatts (MW) and a renewed service agreement for 1,150 MW across the United States.

A few days into July, the company also announced that it was restructuring its China sales business unit in order to adapt to China’s new policy dictating all future wind projects must be awarded through an auction system focusing on grid parity by 2020 and government approvals.

June was a big month for Vestas, as it not only secured and announced wind turbine orders worth 803 MW in the last six days of the month, but this accrued on top of a further 1,354 MW which was announced through the first three weeks of the month. This included a previously reported 406 MW for North America, as well as a further 212 MW for the Rio Bravo wind project being developed by Longroad Energy in Texas, and a 442 MW wind turbine order made by Xcel Energy for an undisclosed project.

Vestas also secured a 228 MW wind turbine order in Australia and its first ever order in Panama for the 66 MW Toabré wind park placed by Elecnor.

“Vestas continues to build its footprint in Latin America through its market-leading wind energy solutions and hereby support the many Latin American countries that are accelerating the transition to renewables,” said Enric Català, Senior Director Sales Vestas LATAM, regarding the Panama order. “By partnering with an experienced customer like Elecnor, who share our vision of making the world more sustainable, we are confident the project will deliver the low-cost sustainable energy that will help Elecnor and Panama reach their renewable targets.”

The most recent batch of wind turbine orders to finish out the second quarter included a 197 MW order in Norway from Norwegian developer Zephyr and investment platform BlackRock for the  Guleslettene wind project in Florø and Bremager in western Norway.

“The Guleslettene project once again demonstrates Vestas’ ability to offer state-of-the-art technology and leverage our vast experience across the entire value chain to develop solutions that meet specific customer needs,” said Nils de Baar, President of Vestas Northern and Central Europe. “We are very proud that our innovative technology will be able to create maximum value for BlackRock and Zephyr AS.”

In addition, Vestas secured a 216 MW order from PacifiCorp,  a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy, to repower the Marengo wind project, commissioned in 2007, and its first-ever Bolivian order for three wind parks worth 108 MW — the San Julián, Warnes, and El Dorado, all located in the municipalities of Cocota, Warnes and Cabezas in Santa Cruz, central Bolivia.

To top off its hectic June, Vestas secured a 10-year renewal of a 1,150 MW service portfolio across the US wind belt.

“We’re extraordinarily pleased to extend our service partnerships and continue to drive project performance and profitability over the long-term,” said Chris Brown, President of Vestas’ North American sales and service organization. “These renewals are a testament to the customer’s commitment to getting the lowest cost energy through optimized project performance and long-term certainty. We are pleased to help deliver on this commitment over the lifetime performance of their assets.”

Three days into July, Vestas added to its recent bundle of announcements by revealing that it intends to restructure its China sales business unit to better adapt its strategy to China’s new wind energy policies. Specifically, following the recent announcement from China’s energy regulator that all future wind projects must be awarded through an auction system focusing on grid parity by 2020 and government approvals, Vestas will restructure its China sales unit “to increase agility and local presence in the diverse Chinese market segments.” Vestas will restructure into three sub-regions covering China North, China Central, and China coastal, as well as new leadership.

“With this new organisational structure, we expect to further strengthen our position in the important Chinese market by transforming our business model to fit the new auction system,” explained Juan Araluce, EVP and Chief Sales Officer.

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Joshua S Hill

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