Vestas announces deep water offshore research project

DENMARK: Vestas has revealed it is working on developing offshore foundations allowing wind turbines to be built in depths of up to 70metres.

The company said it has been backed by the Danish government with a DKK120million grant to develop both a "cost-effective" deep water offshore foundation, and an energy storage facility that can be integrated into a wind farm.

Both projects are scheduled to run for the next three to five years.

The offshore project will focus on developing structures to cope with depths of up to 70metres. At the moment the maximum depth is considered to be around 50metres. Additionally, Vestas said the aim was to allow the tower construction to be contracted out with the turbine and subsquently lower costs.

Vestas president of technology R&D Finn Strøm Madsen said: "The winners of the offshore race will be the ones that are able to deliver reliable products that can be installed at very large depths."

The second project, the 'Intelligent Energy System', will offer wind owners the option of an energy storage component.

Madsen said: "Storage embedded in the wind power plant allows the power to be regulated without compromising any capture of available wind energy. Such a balancing mechanism opens for even higher amounts of wind power to the transmission system operator."

Vestas' backing by the Danish government follows a similar move by the Dutch. Holland's Outgoing Dutch economics minister Maria van der Hoeven has awarded a €19.5 million subsidy for the Far and Large Offshore Wind (FLOW) innovation project as part of Holland's aim to raise its offshore capacity to 6GW by 2020.