The agreement covers 70 hectares of land at the port of Sheerness. However, Vestas has said the project is still subject to it receiving enough orders for the V164 as part of Round 3. It has also stipulated a number of other requirements, including public investment.
Sheppey, which is attached to the English mainland by bridge, is located in the Thames estuary. In terms of proximity to Round 3 projects, this would put it closest to the 7.2GW Norfolk project.
When Vestas launched the V164 in London, it made it clear the project would need some form of backing from both government and industry.
It has continued in this approach with its Sheerness announcement. In a part of the release, titled "Job creation is a two-way street", Vestas president offshore Ander Soe-Jensen calls for "long-term political and regulatory certainty to ensure their business case".
He continues: "Making that happen lies in the hands of the policy makers, so we are looking forward to the UK government providing the best possible terms for the offshore wind industry to truly take off and the potential jobs becoming a reality."
Soe-Jensen could be referring to the UK government’s review of its renewal obligation certificates (ROCs) incentive scheme, which is believed to have caused uncertainty in the sector. The UK is looking to introduce a feed-in-tariff by 2017.
In addition to a clarification of the regulations, Vestas said it also wanted some form of public investment "to de-risk and reduce the large infrastructure investments required".
Vestas is a planning serial production of the V164 by 2015. The turbine is its first offshore-specific product.
V164 7MW – statistics
- Swept area – 21,124 metres2
- Blade length – 80 metres
- Minimum hub height – 105 metres
- Rotor diameter – 164 metres
- Tip height – 187 metres
- Weight – 800 tons