Wind power manufacturer Vestas has announced plans to complete the largest offshore wind turbine, the V164-7.0 MW. This colossal offshore turbine is being designed for the roughest North Sea conditions – notorious for violent winds.
In making this announcement, Vestas states; “Lowering the cost of energy in relation to offshore wind is essential for the industry. Some of the major stepping stones in achieving this are size and subsequent increased energy capture, which means a need for much bigger turbines that are specifically designed for the challenging offshore environment.”
The wind turbine rotor will measure 164 meters (538 feet), surpassing Spain’s current 420-foot rotor.
In the announcement, Vestas CEO Ditlev Engel said he is pleased to serve the market and show a commitment to the offshore wind industry by introducing the V164-7.0 MW. “Seeing the positive indications from governments worldwide, and especially from the UK, to increase the utilization of wind energy is indeed very promising.” He can be seen on this video discussing the development of this machine.
According to Anders Søe-Jensen, president of Vestas Offshore, the offshore wind market will expand over the coming years, especially in regions like the Northern part of Europe, where the conditions at sea are particularly rough.
The most outstanding feature of the new turbine is its size and resulting increased energy capture. The turbine will function with a medium-speed drive-train solution.
“We actually kept all options open from the start, running two separate parallel R&D development tracks: one focusing on direct drive and one on a geared solution. It soon became clear that if we wanted to meet the customers’ expectations about lowest possible cost of energy and high business case certainty we needed a perfect combination of innovation and proven technology and so the choice could only be to go for a medium-speed drive-train solution,” said Finn Strøm Madsen, President of Vestas Technology R&D.
Vestas, a pioneer of the industry, has installed 580 offshore turbines, or equaling 43 percent of the world’s offshore turbines.
Production of the 7 MW turbine is expected to begin in 2015.