Vestas Wins Largest Wind-Turbine Order in Three Years From Duke

Vestas Wind Systems A/S won a 400-megawatt deal to supply turbines to two Duke Energy Corp. wind farms in Texas, the biggest order it received in three years.

Delivery of 200 V110 2-megawatt turbines will begin in the first half as the Los Vientos III and Los Vientos IV wind farms are scheduled to start up in 2015 and 2016, Aarhus, Denmark-based Vestas said today in a statement. The accord with Duke’s renewables unit includes three-year service agreements.

The deal suggests Vestas is regaining ground in the U.S., its biggest market for shipments in 2012, after announcing no new orders in the first eight months of this year. Flip-flopping U.S. tax credit policies led to a feast then a famine for wind developers. Including today’s deal, the Danish manufacturer has this month announced three U.S. orders totaling 540 megawatts.

Vestas rose as much as 6 percent, the biggest intraday jump since Aug. 21, and was up 4.6 percent at 129.10 kroner by 10:57 a.m. in Copenhagen. The stock more than quadrupled this year.

“This order also will keep our U.S. factories busy and create jobs for Vestas service technicians who ensure the turbines are producing the maximum amount of power,” Chris Brown, U.S. sales unit president, said in a statement.

The company’s previous single-sale order that was larger was a 420-megawatt Australian transaction in August 2010.

Tower Factory

Vestas last month canceled plans to sell a tower factory in Pueblo, Colorado, as it expects the plant to operate at full capacity next year. Chief Marketing Officer Morten Albaek also said he expected the U.S. market to recover in the second half. In August, the company said it would supply 400 megawatts to EDP Renovaveis SA’s U.S. sites. It didn’t count that in its 2013 orders as it was part of an already-agreed 1,500-megawatt deal.

Vestas last year shipped 1,313 megawatts of turbines in the U.S., more than double its next biggest market in Germany. An expiring U.S. tax credit encouraged developers to rush to build projects in 2012, leaving a dearth of new work for this year even after the tax credit was unexpectedly renewed on Jan. 1.

The Danish turbine producer has now announced 3,356 megawatts of new orders in 2013, leaving it fewer than 400 megawatts short of its 2012 total of 3,738 megawatts.

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