Saying he recognized the frustration people felt, sympathized with political leaders and stakeholders and was disappointed that Ocean Wind 1 and 2 could not continue, David Hardy, Ørsted’s CEO for North America, offered his thoughts on the company’s big announcement through a LinkedIn post.
He also said Ørsted had no choice but to end the projects.
“I recognize the frustration that many people feel about this decision. I sympathize with the many political leaders, state officials, advocates, community members, and stakeholders who have supported this industry and its economic and environmental benefits for New Jersey and appreciate their support. I am disappointed that Ocean Wind 1 and 2 are not able to help New Jersey reach its ambitious climate and economic goals, particularly because the state is poised to be a regional and U.S. offshore wind hub,” he wrote.
“But, most of all, I have tremendous respect and empathy for our Ørsted team who has supported and advanced these projects in the face of all these macroeconomic challenges and who has been relentless in their fight to overcome obstacles and challenges along the way. It is a sad moment for all of them, and for me, that we had to take this decision.”
Hardy said the decision to discontinue the Ocean Wind projects – while deciding to continue an offshore wind project that will serve Rhode Island and Connecticut – represents the ups and downs of the sector.
“The story of the U.S. offshore wind industry for the last year has been one of great milestones, achievements, and monumental firsts, juxtaposed with a daily backdrop of frustrations and mounting challenges,” he wrote. “My past week at Ørsted couldn’t have epitomized those simultaneous highs and lows any better.”
In regard to Revolution Wind, a 704 MW offshore wind project that will deliver energy to Rhode Island and Connecticut, he noted the jobs and economic development that will happen in both states.
“With this FID, we’re formally taking the decision to proceed from the development phase of the project to the construction phase,” he wrote. “We’re excited to achieve this milestone on our second commercial-scale offshore wind farm in the United States and look forward to producing expected first power next year and completing the project in 2025.”
Hardy also wrote that he optimistic about the future of offshore wind, saying the company “won’t give up or give in.”
“There will be many more positive milestones ahead, I’m confident of that,” he said. “And I’m not naïve to think there won’t also be challenges. But Ørsted and our employees are ready to continue the hard work of building this new American industry. As we manage through and deliver in a challenging market environment, we will continue to fight for this industry and our shareholders, and with this amazing team of passionate people and expertise, there’s no group that I have more confidence in to get the job done.
“Heavy sadness and disappointment coupled with immense pride and optimism all in the same week … Hard to balance for sure. But thank you Ørsted colleagues and supporters of U.S. offshore wind energy. Together, we will overcome and succeed. This industry will prevail. I am sure of it.”