Sales and profits at Vattenfall’s wind business area rose during the first quarter of 2019 thanks to new capacity coming online at sea and on land, and higher electricity prices.

Net sales in wind went up to SKr3.66bn ($388m) in the first quarter, from SKr2.97bn in the same quarter in 2018, while underlying profit before depreciation, amortisation and impairment losses went up to SKr2.74bn, from SKr2.15bn in the year-earlier period.

During the past 12 months, Vattenfall had commissioned the 97MW Aberdeen Bay offshore wind farm in Scotland, and 141MW out of a total 407MW of the Horns Rev 3 array off Denmark. At the same time, generation from the nearby Horns Rev 1 offshore wind farm was lower due to repair work, but that was compensated by higher generation from other existing wind farms.

Vattenfall chief executive Magnus Hall added: “ As a consequence of demands for new environmental impact studies, our offshore wind projects in Denmark, [the nearshore projects] Vesterhav Syd & Nord (344 MW), will not be commissioned until 2023 instead of in 2020/2021 as previously planned.”

“Unfortunately, the delay in the timetable is necessary to manage the situation in a responsible manner."

Vattenfall also took the repowered 29MW Slufterdam onshore wind farm online in the Netherlands.

The Swedish utility recently also said it is taking part in the zero-subsidy tender for the 760MW Hollandse Kust South 3&4 tender in the Dutch North Sea, hoping that a win would bring “significant synergies” from combining the project with the adjacent Hollandse Kust 1&2 array that Vattenfall has already won.

The company has said it would use Siemens Gamesa SG 10.0-193 turbines at both projects.

In March, Vattenfall jointly with French state-owned financial institution Caisse des Dépôts and German developer Wpd has also submitted a bid for the 400-600MW Dunkirk area in the English Channel off France.

Risen power prices – both in the Nordics, Germany and the Netherlands – helped both wind power and other generation. Average Nordic spot prices were 22% higher during the first quarter, at €47.00 per megawatt hour, surpassing prices in Germany that now averaged €41.99/MWh, but beaten by prices in the Netherlands that averaged €48.80/MWh.

In all three geographies, power prices went up due to higher prices for CO2 emission allowances, while Nordic prices also were affected by a lower hydrological balance.

Higher prices also helped overall net sales at Vattenfall Group, rising to SKr49.55bn, from SKr43.86bn in the first quarter of 2018, while operating profit before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) went up to SKr12.59bn in the first quarter of this year from SKr10.94.

Vattenfall’s profit during the first quarter of 2019 rose to SKr6.42bn, from SKr4.16bn in the year-earlier period, as rising power prices compensated for losses deriving from the Alfrida storm that damaged the power grid near Stockholm during the period.