Vestas Wins First Order For Biggest Offshore Wind Turbine  

Posted by Big Gav in ,

Bloomberg reports that Vestas has made its first sale of their 8MW wind turbine model - Vestas Wins First Order For Biggest Offshore Wind Turbine.

Vestas Wind Systems won its first commercial order for the world’s most powerful offshore wind turbine, pending buyer Dong Energy’s final investment decision in a U.K. project.

The conditional agreement is for 32 8-megawatt V164 devices to be installed in Dong’s Burbo Bank Extension project in Liverpool Bay off northwest England, Dong said today in an e-mailed statement. The machines would be supplied by MHI Vestas Offshore Wind, the venture set up earlier this year by Vestas and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.

“Larger and more cost-efficient wind turbines are key elements in the realization of Dong Energy’s strategy towards reducing the cost of electricity from offshore wind,” said Samuel Leupold, an executive vice president at Dong. “Competition among the offshore wind turbine manufacturers will increase.”

The Climate Spectator has a post looking at a report on wind power that includes an impressive array of graphs - Why wind wreckers are often left snatching at air.

Each year, Ryan Wiser and Mark Bolinger from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory put out a superb report documenting developments in the US wind power market. Even though the report concentrates on the US market it provides one of the most insightful reference documents into how wind power technology and its economics are evolving over time on a global basis. This is built from a database which tracks a wide array of key metrics on a very large number of wind power projects across the country. ...

Wind turbine manufacturers have put intensive effort into how to adjust the shape, flexibility and construction of blades to make them longer while keeping weight down and maintaining strength and reliability. Longer blades that remain relatively light provide a greater surface area exposed to the wind, enabling them to turn a generator with lower wind speeds.

In the end – as we find in so many other areas of natural resource exploitation – technological efficiency advances faster than the rate at which the resource is consumed. So even though many of the best wind speed sites are already taken, the total economically viable resource is actually expanding.

Of course, the great thing about wind, versus non-renewable resources, is that the best wind speed sites don’t deteriorate over time because they host a wind farm. So when the first lot of wind turbines wear out we’ll be able to replace them with the more advanced turbines – and considerably expand the amount of power we can extract from the high quality wind sites.

These advancements in turbine technology are a key reason for why the Victorian Government’s recent decision to allow developers to adjust wind turbine layout without obtaining a new planning approval was so important. For many Victorian wind farm development sites, their planning approvals were based on turbine designs that are now as much as four years old. By being allowed to employ turbines with larger rotors, which will often require a higher hub height than older designs, it should substantially improve the economics of these Victorian wind farms.

What’s also interesting from this recent report is that wind continues to expand its level of power generation market share in a range of countries to levels the naysayers said weren’t possible. Denmark is now past 30 per cent wind penetration and approaching 35 per cent. And there are now another three further countries in, or on the verge of, the beyond 20 per cent club. Twenty per cent penetration used to have an almost mystical quality to it, seen as the absolute limit to how much wind a grid could absorb, but that’s now been consigned to an old wives' tale.

So the lesson from all this is that wind turbine technology, and the associated market, are never standing still. Anyone using data from more than a year or so ago is likely to be getting it wrong.

1 comments

Iowa is at about 30% and rising fast. They're going to be a big windpower exporter.

For instance, they're building a 4GW HVDC line to the East Coast...

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