By Renewable Energy Focus staff
The V164 will have a rotor diameter of 164m and the first prototype is expected in the fourth quarter of 2012, with series production starting in Q1 2015 - just in time for the UK Round 3 of offshore wind development.
Vestas CEO Ditlev Engels says development of the offshore wind turbine is dependent on substantial support: "We will only develop the turbine if customers back up with orders and political support."
This could be Vestas' largest invetment in a wind turbine to date.
Engel adds in a statement: “We are very pleased to be able to serve the market and show our commitment to the offshore wind industry by introducing our dedicated offshore turbine - the V164-7.0 MW. Seeing the positive indications from governments worldwide, and especially from the UK, to increase the utilisation of wind energy is indeed very promising. We look forward to this new turbine doing its part in making these political targets a reality.”
Gears won over direct drive
One of the biggest surprises, is perhaps that Vestas has gone for a geared solution when many of its competitors are choosing direct drive.
According to Finn Strøm Madsen, President of Vestas Technology R&D, says two separate parallel R&D development tracks were running when designing the offshore wind turbine.
“One focusing on direct drive and one on a geared solution. 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,” Strøm Madsen says.
“Offshore wind customers do not want new and untested solutions. They want reliability and business case certainty – and that is what the V164-7.0 MW gives them.”
Mostly northern Europe
Anders Søe-Jensen, President of Vestas Offshore, says: “We expect the major part of offshore wind development to happen in the Northern part of Europe, where the conditions at sea are particularly rough. Based on our broad true offshore experience and our many years as pioneers within the offshore wind industry, we have specifically designed the V164-7.0 MW to provide the highest energy capture and the highest reliability in this rough and challenging environment. This makes our new turbine an obvious and ideal choice for instance for many UK Round 3 projects.”
Vestas says the V164's business case is based on Europe and specifically northern Europe. However, Vestas is also open to take the offshore wind turbine to other parts of the world.