Wind power manufacturer Vestas has announced it will complete the largest offshore wind turbine in the world. The V164-7.0 MW will be a colossal offshore turbine being designed for the roughest North Sea conditions — notorious for its violent winds.
In its press announcement about the offshore endeavor, Vestas stated: “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.”
When completed, the wind turbine rotor will measure 164 meters (538 feet), surpassing Spain’s current 420 foot rotor. The size is almost equal to two American football fields. Vestas CEO, Ditlev Engel, said he is pleased to 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.”
Engel can be seen on this video discussing the development of this machine.
As reported by EcoFriend, this project will certainly “be a big step forward, especially in view of the goal set by EU – to get 13 percent of total power from renewable sources by 2020.”
Anders Søe-Jensen, president of Vestas Offshore, believes 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 this 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,” says Finn Strøm Madsen, President of Vestas Technology R&D. “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.”
Vestas is a pioneer of the wind industry, has installed 580 offshore turbines, 43 percent of the world’s offshore turbines. Production of the 7 MW turbine is expected to begin in 2015.
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