Copenhagen, Denmark — The Oticon Foundation has invested 1.7 Billion DKK (about $300 million USD) in an offshore wind farm, Borkum Riffgrund 1, developed by DONG Energy, and will subsequently own 18% of the project. Once online, the wind project will produce far more energy than the company’s global energy footprint.

The investment from Oticon, made through its William Demant Investment division, allows DONG Energy to divest part of its share of the wind project. Aside from Oticon’s 18% stake, the other new partner is LEGO Group’s parent company, KIRKBI A/S, which will own a 32% share. Consequently, DONG Energy will retain a 50% stake, plus earn management and maintenance fees over the lifetime of the project.

When completed, Borkum Riffgrund 1 will consist of 77 3.6 MW of wind turbines from Siemens Wind Power and will supply the equivalent annual energy of more than 285,000 households.

Once it is completed, KIRKBI and the Oticon Foundation expect to take over the offshore wind farm and the earnings that come with their ownership interests in October 2015.

In the press statement, the Oticon Foundation said that it views the construction of the wind farm as a good, long-term financial investment and an important step toward achieving a positive balance on the William Demant Group’s energy portolio. In 2015, when the farm is fully operational, the stake owned by the Oticon Foundation will reportedly generate more than five times Oticon’s total global energy consumption.

While more than offsetting the company’s energy footprint, the wind farm’s energy will not go directly into Oticon’s facilities, but be fed into the overall electric grid and sold to German utilities.

”As one of the world’s leading hearing aid manufacturers, we have a long tradition of using innovation and foresight to enhance quality of life for people suffering from hearing loss, and that is an important task as these number 500 million. We would like to take our share of the responsibility for meeting the energy challenges of the future, and we therefore consider this considerable investment in renewable energy as a very positive step that far exceeds our own consumption as a company,” says Søren Nielsen, CEO of Oticon A/S.

Construction of Borkum Riffgrund 1 is expected to commence in 2013, and the first power generated in 2014. The farm will be located in the North Sea, approximately 55 km off the north-western coast of Germany.

SOURCE: Dong Energy