Vestas has plans for building a giant turbine in UK
Vestas has hinted it is considering building a new manufacturing facility in the UK, after unveiling the long-awaited design for its first wind turbine designed specifically for the next generation of offshore North Sea projects.
The world’s largest wind turbine manufacturer today launched the new V164-7.0MW turbine, which is 1MW larger than anticipated – and 1MW larger than the offshore turbines planned by rivals Siemens and General Electric.
Speaking at the launch of the turbine design in London today, Vestas chief executive Ditlev Engel said the company will require a new production facility for the 7MW machine at an undecided coastal location if it secures enough orders.
“This is an investment we are ready to make, but only if we see firm commitment from our customers,” he said. “A commitment that is backed by the political framework.”
Vestas Offshore president Anders Søe-Jensen confirmed the company’s Isle of Wight research and development centre will produce the V164’s 80 metre blades, each weighing 35 tonnes.
He also hinted the UK would be a strong contender for any new manufacturing site for the remaining components.
“[In order to lower costs] we need to build offshore where the wind resources are best, and that happens to be right here at our doorstep in the North Sea,” he said. “The ambitions and the volume definitely seem to be in the UK, but it is vital for the UK not to lose the first-mover momentum. Not least to address the energy gap at the end of the decade, but also to maximise possible job creation benefits.”
Weighing about 800 tonnes and standing at 187 metres high, the giant turbine constitutes Vestas’ largest ever research and development investment. It is expected to be able to produce enough electricity in one hour to supply one and a half households for a year.
The first prototypes are slated for construction in the fourth quarter of 2012, with serial production expected to start during the first quarter of 2015.
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]Vestas has plans for building a giant turbine in UK,
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