The head of Dong Energy’s UK offshore wind business says massive 12-15 megawatt offshore wind turbines could soon be on the horizon.
Speaking to The Telegraph newspaper as Dong Energy inaugurated the Burbo Bank Extension offshore windfarm in the UK – which is the first to use MHI Vestas’ 8.0 megawatt (MW) offshore wind turbines – Benj Sykes, vice president, head of asset management and UK country manager at the company said he anticipates that much larger turbines could be installed before long.
“If you wind the clock back four or five years this scale of technology was considered very ambitious,” he said of the 8MW wind turbines. “Now, you can see them in reality, commercially deployed. It’s very difficult to say where we will ultimately get to.
“We’re already talking about the need to scale up the current turbine range to 12MW to 15MW as part of the cost reduction journey. I think we will see that scale of turbine come in but we’re not sure from who, or when,” he added.
Offshore wind turbines have already more than doubled in size since Dong Energy constructed the first phase of Burbo Bank in 2007 with 3.7MW units. The rapid increase in size has enabled developers to slash costs almost a decade faster than government targets.
As previously reported by OWJ, MHI Vestas has already unveiled an uprated version of its 8MW offshore turbine that enables it to reach 9MW at specific site conditions. The company’s prototype at Østerild broke the energy generation record for a commercially available offshore wind turbine in December 2017. Its competitor, Siemens Wind Power, has steadily evolved its direct drive unit up to 8MW, and is understood to be working on a new, large and more powerful turbine.