Talking Points

talking points

Dong Energy is moving to a more family-friendly name

Dong Energy can drop its R rating. Two years after planting its flag in Boston, the Danish company is moving to a more family-friendly name.

Of course, the word “dong” doesn’t mean the same thing in Denmark as it does here. There, it’s an acronym, translated as Danish Oil and Natural Gas. Probably seemed clever at the time. But on this side of the Atlantic, the name sometimes prompts laughs, smirks, crude jokes. Not ideal when you want to build your reputation on a new continent.

So the company is jettisoning the name alongside the vestiges of its legacy oil and gas business. Soon, Dong will be called Orsted. That’s a reference to Hans Christian Orsted, Denmark’s Thomas Edison.

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Thomas Brostrom, Dong’s Boston-based North American chief, says the change reflects the increased focus on renewable energy. He concedes the awkward meaning here is another reason for the switch.

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With $3 billion in investments expected this year, the world’s biggest offshore wind developer is expanding on multiple fronts: a project near Atlantic City, another one off Virginia Beach, a third in British Columbia . Furthest along is Bay State Wind, proposed for waters south of Martha’s Vineyard. That partnership with Eversource is gearing up to bid for wind power contracts created by a 2016 Massachusetts energy law.

Dong is also eyeing energy storage, and it just opened up a venture capital arm in Silicon Valley. Brostrom says the team will consider investing in on-shore wind and solar, too.

The company’s intense lobbying on Beacon Hill helped get last year’s energy bill done, proving it should be taken seriously. Now, its name will be, too.