Vattenfall signs up manufacturers for controversial offshore site

UK: The Vattenfall-led consortium heading up the 100MW test offshore wind farm in Aberdeen Bay, Scotland has signed MoUs with six turbine suppliers including Vestas.

The V164 turbine is set to be tested at Aberdeen Bay
The V164 turbine is set to be tested at Aberdeen Bay

The European Offshore Wind Centre (EOWC) project is being developed to test next-generation wind turbines. However, it is probably best known for its proximity to entrepreneur Donald Trump's golf and hotel resort. Trump had been openly opposed to the project describing it as "environmentally irresponsible".

Speaking to Windpower Monthly, Vestas said it had signed an MoU to test its V164 7MW turbine but also said the deal "was far from concrete".

Although the V164 is due to go to prototype in 2014, the development of the turbine is dependent on Vestas finding a co-development partner.

There has also been speculation one of the other manufacturers is Mitsubishi, which is partly developing its SeaAngel wind turbine in Scotland.

"The project is strategically important, and not just for UK Round 3 projects, but for the European offshore wind industry as a whole. We need the most reliable, productive, cost-effective and safest turbines possible," explained a Vattenfall spokesperson, speaking with Windpower Offshore.

Vattenfall is one of three organisations that have joined forces to establish the EOWC. Its partners are Technip and the Scottish government-funded Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group.

Stimulating the development of lower-cost offshore turbines is a priority for the Swedish energy company, given its development pipeline. This includes the 7.2GW UK Round 3 East Anglia zone, which it will build with ScottishPower Renewables.

"We want to see increased competition in the offshore turbine supply market. It is important that we have as wide a range of turbines as possible to choose from for the East Anglia zone and other projects," said the Vattenfall spokesperson.

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