Vestas will step up testing of its 8 megawatt (MW) wind turbine, the world’s most powerful, by installing two of them in the port of Esbjerg in southern Denmark, the Danish company said on Wednesday.
The wind farm will be built onshore to facilitate testing even though the turbines have been developed, in a joint venture with Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, for the offshore market where Vestas is seeking to catch up with Germany’s Siemens.
The testing will be carried out in cooperation with European Energy, the company which will build the project. It has also ordered two additional, smaller turbines for the testing facility.
“Vestas will get the possibility to get the turbines tested and we will get a better insight into the performance of the turbines before we eventually place bigger orders,” chief executive of European Energy Knud-Erik Andersen told Reuters.
The V164 8 MW turbine could be a potential candidate for the 600 MW Kriegers Flak wind farm that the Danish government is expected to put out to tender by the end of the year, he said.
European Energy has developed 56 onshore wind farms but has recently decided to enter the offshore segment.
The V164 is so far the preferred turbine for four wind farms of which three are being built by Vestas’ compatriot DONG Energy .
Wednesday’s order “sends a clear signal to the market that the development of the turbine is on track,” chief executive of the joint venture, MHI Vestas, Jens Tommerup said in a statement.
“The order is a crucial step for the development of the V164-8.0 MW in the ramp up towards serial production.”
Most industry consultants rank Vestas as the world’s largest wind turbine maker followed by Siemens and General Electric Co. , but it has fallen behind in the offshore sector which has been dominated by Siemens in recent years.
Siemens has a 7 MW turbine, and has said it would like to have a prototype for a 10 MW turbine ready by 2020.
(Reporting by Teis Jensen; Editing by Keith Weir)