Danish wind turbine builder Vestas has introduced a giant 15 MW offshore wind turbine - V236-15.0 MW- joining GE's and Siemens' 'bigger is better' party.
Vestas said the new turbine will have the world’s largest swept area exceeding 43,000 m2 and will deliver "industry-leading performance and moves the boundaries of wind energy production to around 80 GWh/year."
This is, Vestas said, enough to power around 20,000 European households and save more than 38,000 tonnes of CO2, which is the equivalent to removing 25,000 passenger cars from the road every year.
"Combining the wind industry’s largest rotor with the highest nominal rating, [V236-15.0 MW] is designed to deliver excellent performance while reducing the number of turbines at park level, strengthening the project business case," Vestas said.
"The globally applicable offshore turbine offers 65 percent higher annual energy production than the V174-9.5 MW, and for a 900 MW wind park it boosts production by five percent with 34 fewer turbines. It offers excellent partial-load production, resulting in more stable energy production, and a capacity factor over 60 percent depending on site-specific conditions," the company added.
The first V236-15.0 MW prototype is expected to be installed in 2022, while serial production is scheduled for 2024.
Henrik Andersen, Vestas President and CEO, says “Introducing our new offshore platform is a huge achievement for everyone at Vestas, as it marks a big leap forward in a very important journey. As a global renewables leader, every decision Vestas takes today must be in service of building scale for renewables in the future - only by doing this can we ensure a more sustainable future energy system. 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 levelised cost of energy thus making our customers more competitive in offshore tenders going forward”.
Anders Nielsen, Vestas Chief Technology Officer, says “With the V236-15.0 MW, we raise the bar in terms of technological innovation and industrialization in the wind energy industry, in favor of building scale. By leveraging Vestas’ extensive proven technology, the new platform combines innovation with certainty to offer industry-leading performance while reaping the benefits of building on the supply chain of our entire product portfolio. The new offshore platform forms a solid foundation for future products and upgrades."
Wind turbine manufacturer Siemens Gamesa in May 2020 announced it was working on developing wind turbines with up to 15MW capacity and a 222-meter rotor - the world's largest in the making at the time. The prototype is expected to be ready in 2021, with turbines commercially available sometime in 2024. The giant Siemens Gamesa turbines have already been ordered - conditionally - for projects in Taiwan and the U.S.
GE, the company behind the world's largest wind turbine in operation, Haliade X - the prototype in Rotterdam - which has been spinning since late 2019 - recently uprated that same turbine, from 12 MW to 13 MW. The uprated 13MW Haliade-X will continue to feature 107-meter long blades and a 220-meter rotor.
On top of this, GE has recently secured a contract to deliver the upscaled Haliade-X 14 MW wind turbines for the Dogger Bank C offshore wind farm in the UK. This will mark the first time these turbines will be installed at any project world-wide.
Energy intelligence group Rystad recently explained how bigger wind turbines, while more expensive per unit, reduce the overall cost of large-scale offshore wind farm development - up to $100 million compared to using 10MW turbines at 1GW wind farm projects.
"Utilizing 14 MW turbines instead of 10 MW ones, the number of units required for a 1 GW project falls by 28 units, from 100 to 72. Moving to a 14 MW turbine from a 12 MW turbine still offers a reduction of nearly 11 units. Overall, the analysis shows that using the largest turbines for a new 1 GW wind farm offers cost savings of nearly $100 million versus installing the currently available 10 MW turbines," Rystad said.