Vestas receives first V112 order for 'biggest wind farm in southern hemisphere'

AUSTRALIA: Vestas has received a 420MW order for an upcoming wind farm in Australia using the manufacturer's recently launched V112 3MW turbine.

Vestas CEO Ditlev Engel is confident the V112 is ready
Vestas CEO Ditlev Engel is confident the V112 is ready

The Macarthur wind farm is to be located in the Western District of Victoria. It is being developed by Australian utility AGL Energy and New Zealand state-owned utility Meridian.

The deal is for 140 turbines. This is the first deal for the V112, which Vestas claims is more efficient.  Vestas' share price rose by 3% following the announcement of the contract.

Vestas quotes that for a common location with an annual average wind speed at hub height of 6.7m/s, a V112-3.0MW, which has 112-metre blade, has a 38% greater energy production than a V90-3.0MW, which has a 90-metre blade. It is designed for both onshore and offshore.

The turbine has only been run as a prototype earlier this year. However, Vestas CEO Ditlev Engel insisted the turbine had been thoroughly tested that he was "very confident" it was ready to be installed on a wind farm of this size.

The first turbines at Macarthur are expected to be online by the third quarter of 2011, with all 140 installed by the first half of 2013.

The business case for the project was helped by the government passing amendments to its renewable energy target (RET) scheme. The changes offer greater investment security for large-scale renewables projects.

In February, there were doubts about Macarthur’s future after AGL announced it planned to shelve A$1 billion of planned investment in wind energy because of the uncertainty created by the government's climate change policies.

Shortly after this, the company has announced a conditional agreement Meridian to press ahead with the scheme after the Australian government last week pledged to revamp its national clean energy programme.

The project was originally set to have a capacity of 365MW and use 174 Suzlon S88 turbines.

Speaking about the deal and the decision to use the V112, Sean Sutton president of Vestas Asia Pacific said: "This project represents the largest single order for Vestas Australia and Asia Pacific and is also the largest wind power project to be announced after the establishment of Australia's renewable energy targets earlier this year.

"The new V112-3.0MW is a perfect solution to meet AGL and Meridian's needs for a highly-productive and cost-effective turbine for the medium wind speeds on the project site."


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