(Corrects 11th paragraph to say share price has quintupled, not
By Shida Chayesteh and Ole Mikkelsen
COPENHAGEN Dec 27 Turbine maker Vestas Wind
Systems has received its highest ever monthly total of
orders in December as wind farm developers in the United States
rushed to meet a year-end deadline to qualify for a tax credit.
The Danish company booked orders for capacity of 1,346
megawatts (MW) in December and is set for its second-best sales
ever in the United States this year, according to Nordea Markets
The Unites States has been offering a Production Tax Credit
(PTC) to help finance wind farm projects to promote renewable
energy. Last January, the U.S. congress extended the credit for
one more year.
While the wind energy sector is seeking a further extension,
many developers are keen to ensure they qualify now for the
credit, which is worth $23 for every megawatt-hour of
electricity a wind farm produces over its first 10 years.
In previous years, projects had to be in commercial
operation by Dec. 31. This year, they need only to have begun.
"Vestas has had a terrific year which also means that the
share price has increased explosively," Nordea Markets wrote in
a note to clients on Friday.
On Dec. 23 the wind turbine maker signed a contract to
deliver 150 megawatts to the Route 66 project near Amarillo,
Texas with potential for up to 568 MW more.
On Dec. 24 the company announced an order of 110 MW for
another project in the United States but did not reveal the name
of the customer or the new project's name and location.
Those two deals came on top of a 350 MW order from Enel
Green Power North America, announced Dec. 18 and a 220 MW order
from EDF Renewable Energy announced Dec. 20. Wind turbines cost
around 1 million euros ($1.4 million) per megawatt.
In 2013 announced orders have totalled 5,214 MW so far
compared with 3,049 MW over the same period of last year.
The share price of Vestas, the world's biggest maker of
onshore wind turbines, has quintupled to 160.3 Danish crowns
from 31.86 at the start of 2013.
The company has shed over 5,000 jobs, closed plants and sold
unprofitable business in attempt to recover from two years of
The company is preparing to launch a new offshore wind
turbine model that it expects will transform its business - the
V164-8.0 MW that will have a diameter of 164 metres compared
with 120 metres for the London Eye tourist attraction.
A prototype of the turbine was finished this month and will
be installed in first quarter of 2014.
"We consider V164-8.0 MW as a game changer and it will make
Vestas a world leader within offshore," Vestas marketing officer
Morten Albaek said.
Vestas has so far not been an important player in offshore
turbines but a joint venture with Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy
Industries, announced in September, is expected to play
an important role in getting into this market.
"We expect Vestas to get its first orders for the offshore
wind turbine V164 over the next 12-15 months," Handelsbanken
Capital Markets wrote in a note.
($1 = 0.7303 euros)
(Editing by Anthony Barker)