Danish firm Vestas launches jumbo offshore wind turbine to match rivals

Environment

This image shows wind turbines from Vestas in use at a facility in Russia.

Valery Matytsin | TASS | Getty Images

Vestas announced plans for a 15 megawatt (MW) offshore wind turbine on Wednesday, with the Danish firm hoping to install a prototype next year before ramping up production in 2024.

According to the Aarhus-headquartered company, the giant V236-15.0 MW turbine will be able to generate roughly 80 gigawatt hours per year.

This, it claims, would be enough to power approximately 20,000 European households, saving over 38,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide in the process.

Vestas is the latest company to push forward with the development of a sizeable offshore wind turbine. GE Renewable Energy’s Haliade-X can be configured to 12, 13 or 14 MW, while Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy is working on a 14 MW turbine which can also be boosted to 15 MW if required.

As technology has developed, the size of wind turbines has increased. In a recent report, industry body WindEurope said the average rated capacity of turbines installed in Europe last year was 8.2 MW, a 5% increase on 2019. Capacity refers to the maximum amount a turbine can produce, not necessarily what it is currently generating.

Wednesday also saw Vestas release its annual report for 2020. The firm said its profit for the year came in at 771 million euros ($934 million), a little better than the 700 million euros it reported for 2019. Vestas’ revenue in 2020 hit 14.8 billion euros, a 22% increase compared to 2019.

Speaking to CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” Wednesday, CEO Henrik Andersen said he was pleased the company was able to operate despite what he described as “challenging Covid-19 conditions.”

The European offshore wind sector attracted over 26 billion euros of investment last year, a record amount, according to WindEurope.

In an announcement Monday, the Brussels-based organization said the cash raised would finance a total of 7.1 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity, with projects set to be developed and built over the next few years.

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