Global offshore wind manufacturing giant Vestas this week unveiled what they are labelling the wind industry’s first commercially available double-digit wind turbine, the V164-10.0 MW.
The new turbine, unveiled at the Global Wind Summit will boast a rotor diameter of 164 metres and turbine blades 80 metres in length — the equivalent of nine London double-decker buses laid end-to-end – and a swept area of 21,124 metres-squared, larger than the London Eye.
From base to tip, the new turbine will come in at approximately 187 metres.
“What was unreachable before has become the new benchmark,” said Vestas CEO, Philippe Kavafyan. “In launching the V164-10.0 MW today, MHI Vestas is proud to contribute this major milestone to the offshore wind industry. And it gives us the opportunity to pay tribute to all the wind industry pioneers who have led us to this historic, double-digit nominal capacity.”
The announcement continues the long-running wind turbine capacity arms race which has, for the most part, involved only the big-name players – Vestas, GE Renewable Energy, and Siemens Gamesa.
Vestas has held on to the mantle of owning the world’s largest commercially available and, more recently, currently operational wind turbines, thanks to its 8.8 MW wind turbines installed at the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) in Aberdeen, Scotland, and its 9.5 MW wind turbine which passed its final certification test in June and is already set to be in place by the end of 2019.
However, GE Renewable Energy unveiled its 12 MW Haliade-X offshore wind turbine in March, which is expected to be installed for demonstration purposes in 2019 and could be commercially available and shipped to turbines as early as 2021.
This is the same timeframe that MHI Vestas is advertising for their V164-10.0 MW behemoth, noting that it is essentially an upgraded version of its existing and proven V164-9.5 MW turbine, meaning that, as the company explains, the 10 MW turbine promises “a level of certainty and reliability for customers … from day one.”
Regardless of the semantics of press speech, however, what we do know is that double-digit wind turbines will be making their way to offshore wind farms in the next couple of years, serving to further decrease the costs of offshore wind while increasing its efficiency and generating capacity.