Ørsted builds a greener world with offshore wind power and digital technology

Headquartered in Denmark, Ørsted develops, constructs and operates offshore wind farms that provide power to 11.3 million people, roughly a quarter of the world’s offshore wind market.

The wind farms are part of the global leader’s shift away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy. Ørsted divested its upstream oil and gas business in 2017 and has reduced its coal consumption by 82 percent in the last decade. It plans to fully phase out coal by 2023 and wants to increase its offshore wind capacity to 15 gigawatts by 2025 – enough to power more than 30 million people.

“Our vision is to create a world that runs entirely on green energy,” says Ørsted CIO Michael Biermann. “We’ve turned ourselves from an oil- and coal-based company into a completely green energy system-based company. With the climate change that we’re all experiencing every day, it’s quite obviously an important task.”

Long-distance view of Ørsted offshore wind turbines

Ørsted offshore wind turbines. (Photo courtesy of Ørsted)

To reach its goals, Ørsted relies on a digital strategy that includes advanced analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) with Microsoft technology. The software helps the company transform data from its 1,300 offshore wind turbines into insights for predictive maintenance that saves time and resources.

“Each turbine is equipped with thousands of sensors and each minute, each hour, they produce vast quantities of data that we can analyze and optimize,” Biermann says.

Modern, cloud-based tools also help Ørsted’s 5,900 employees work and collaborate more efficiently.

“When we engineer new wind farms, the computations for the foundations alone used to take weeks. Now with the cloud, it takes between 4 and 8 hours,” says Michael Judén, head of digital strategy at Ørsted.

“The strength of our relationship with Microsoft lies in the mission alignment between our companies, of trying to make the world a better and greener place.”