Vestas has just revealed that its giant offshore wind turbine will be even bigger than anticipated, offering eight megawatts (MW) of capacity for the next round of deep water wind farms. The Danish manufacturer last year announced plans to build a 7MW offshore wind turbine, weighing about 800 tonnes and standing at 187 metres high, with 80-meter long blades.
The so-called V164 platform will be aimed at the next generation of projects, such as the UK’s deep water Round 3 programme, which could see 25GW of new capacity installed by the early 2020s. However, Vestas today announced that it has increased the capacity of the machine to 8MW in a move that the company said would help reduce the cost of energy from the new turbines. The company maintained that the V164 platform had always been developed with the potential to increase the turbine size. The 8MW machine will now be 2MW larger in capacity than the offshore turbines planned by rivals Siemens and General Electric, making it the largest offshore wind turbine on the market.
“As we progressed in the technology development it was clear that an 8MW version of the turbine will offer lower cost of energy and at the same time keep the reliability and structural integrity of the turbine unchanged,” said Anders Vedel, Vestas executive vice president and chief technology officer.
Vestas also confirmed that it was on track with a newly revised schedule to test a prototype of the machine in Denmark in 2014. The company said it plans to start producing test blades for the prototype at its Isle of Wight facility before the end of this year, revealing that the prototype hub has already been casted, and is also located on the Isle of Wight ready for testing. The complete drivetrain will then be tested at Vestas’ facilities in Aarhus, Denmark from early next year.
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