World’s biggest wind turbine wins its first contract

Source: Special to E&E • Posted: Thursday, February 20, 2014

The world’s biggest offshore wind turbine, a Vestas behemoth with wings that sweep an area the size of three football fields, has signed its first potential order.

The Vestas V164 8-megawatt machine has won a competitive tender for Dong Energy’s Burbo Bank Extension wind farm in U.K. waters. The final decision to install the turbines is subject to the wind farm receiving the relevant subsidies.

State-owned Dong said the new Vestas turbine, a prototype of which is currently in testing on land in Denmark, will allow the world’s biggest offshore wind farm developer to cut the cost of electricity on its projects by 35 to 40 percent by 2020.

“The performance of the 8 MW turbine from Vestas is very promising,” said Samuel Leupold, executive vice president at Dong. “A competitive market for all components is essential to accomplishing a lower cost of energy. I look forward to working with Vestas and the other members of our supply chain to find further reductions in the cost of electricity.”

The Burbo Bank Extension has a maximum capacity of 258 MW, so it could use 32 new Vestas V164 turbines. It is located 4.5 miles off the English west coast near the existing Burbo Bank offshore farm, which has a capacity of 90 MW and uses 25 Siemens turbines.

If all permits are secured according to plan, Dong could start building it from the second half of 2016. Goldman Sachs agreed with the Danish government earlier this year to buy an 18 percent stake in Dong for $1.5 billion.