Vestas Wind Systems, the world’s largest manufacturer of wind turbines, has launched a dedicated offshore turbine that the company says is designed specifically for the roughest North Sea conditions.
The 7MW turbine, called V164-7.0MW, has a rotor diameter of 164 metres and a medium speed drive-train system. According to the company, the turbine’s size means much increased energy capture. “Offshore wind customers do not want new and untested solutions,” said Finn Strøm Madsen, President of Vestas Technology R&D. “They want reliability and business case certainty – and that is what the V164-7.0MW gives them.”
Vestas says that, although the V164-7.0MW is targeted primarily at northern European markets, should market demand require it the firm is prepared to take the new turbine to other parts of the world. Construction of the first V164-7.0MW prototypes is expected by the end of 2012, with serial production beginning in the first quarter of 2015.
Commenting on the launch, Commerzbank said that Vestas’ presentation sounded like a heavy pitch to governments such as that of the UK – which is pursuing offshore wind as a key component in the country’s plans to meet its 2020 renewable energy obligations – to enhance current offshore wind policy. Vestas has said it will not begin mass production until a firm order backlog is in place in order to justify the substantial investment required for the V164-7.0MW programme. At the end of March, Vestas announced that it had received orders for 150MW of 2MW turbines for various projects in Brazil as well as a 48MW order from China Longyuan Power Group, China’s largest wind power developer.
Vestas’ share price ended March at DKK228.20, which is a gain of some 30% from the start of the year (DKK176.10).
Market: NASDAQ OMX
12-month high/low: DKK380/DKK154.90
Market cap: DKK135bn
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