Vestas Wind Systems AS committed itself to develop a new, 15-MW offshore wind turbine platform that will generate about 80 gigawatt hours/year of electricity, enough to power 20,000 homes and conserve 38,000 metric tons/year of CO2 emissions. The Danish manufacturer is less competitive in the offshore segment of the wind-energy market, and the new platform is framed as an attempt to catch up with GE Renewable Energy and its 14-MW Haliade-X turbine, as well as Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy’s anticipated 14/15-MW turbine.
“Vestas is the global leader in onshore wind, however, to continue to lead the expansion of wind energy into becoming the dominant energy source, it is crucial for Vestas to become a leader in offshore wind,” the group stated.
The prototype V236-15.0 MW turbine, with a 236-m rotor diameter and a swept diameter of 43,000m2, will be installed in 2022. It will incorporate existing Vestas turbine technologies, using modular design to scale up components.
Vestas projected that the new turbine will offer 65% more electricity-generating potential than its current V174-9.5 MW turbine, its top offshore model. It plans to initiate serial production in 2024.
“The new technology establishes a strong foundation for Vestas’ offshore leadership journey by elevating the industry benchmark for performance and continued cost reduction in offshore technology, making Vestas highly competitive in offshore tenders already in 2021,” the group stated.
Regulatory standards are driving an increasing volume of electricity sourcing to wind power, notably in Europe, where a record €26 billion ($31.5 billion) were invested in offshore wind-power projects during 2020.
In parallel, the sizes of wind turbines is increasing: WindEurope reports that the average rated capacity for wind turbines in Europe is now 8.2 MW, rising 5% in the past two years.
President and CEO Henrik Andersen added: “Offshore wind will play an integral role in the growth of wind energy and the V236-15.0 MW will be a driver in this development by lowering levelized cost of energy thus making our customers more competitive in offshore tenders going forward.”