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Danish Offshore Wind Company Buys Providence-Based Deepwater

In this Aug. 15, 2016  photo, three of Deepwater Wind's turbines stand in the water off Block Island, R.I. (Michael Dwyer/AP)MoreCloseclosemore
In this Aug. 15, 2016 photo, three of Deepwater Wind's turbines stand in the water off Block Island, R.I. (Michael Dwyer/AP)

An offshore wind developer based in Rhode Island is being acquired by the Danish offshore wind company, Orsted.

Providence-based Deepwater Wind announced Monday that Orsted has entered into an agreement to buy it. Orsted says it's paying $510 million. The agreement must be approved by federal regulators.

Thomas Brostrom, CEO of the new organization, said there's a large market for offshore wind along the Eastern Seaboard. Orsted wanted to buy the company that successfully developed and permitted an offshore wind project in the new market, he added. He said they'll be looking for more wind farm projects, beyond what's planned already.

Providence and Boston will be the two major hubs for Orsted U.S. Offshore Wind, with employees added at both locations.

Orsted entered the U.S. market in 2015. It has development rights off the coasts of Massachusetts and New Jersey and it's involved in a pilot offshore wind project off of Virginia.

Deepwater Wind opened the first U.S. offshore wind farm off Block Island, Rhode Island, in late 2016. It's currently developing three wind farms to supply power to Rhode Island, Connecticut, Long Island, New York, and Maryland. Those projects would go ahead as planned, according to Deepwater Wind.

Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski said he's confident the acquisition will be approved by the end of the year. He would become co-CEO of Orsted U.S. Offshore Wind.

"This combination is the right one to take this industry from its infancy to a major player in the energy sector in the United States today," he said.

Deepwater Wind has lease areas off the coasts of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Delaware, where more turbines could be built.

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo said the news is "incredibly exciting" and "a real opportunity" since Orsted is a world leader in offshore wind. The Democratic governor wants to grow the offshore wind industry in the state.

Orsted would acquire Deepwater Wind from the D.E. Shaw group, an investment and technology development firm.

Orsted and its partners recently opened the world's largest wind farm, capable of powering about 600,000 homes, in the Irish Sea. Orsted operates about 1,200 turbines, primarily in Europe, Brostrom said.

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