Vestas increases V164 turbine to 8MW

DENMARK: Vestas has increased the capacity rating of its upcoming V164 turbine from 7MW to 8MW.

The manufacturer also revealed progress on the turbine's main components. The 80-metre blade mould has been developed at Vestas' R&D facility on the Isle of Wight, UK, and the first blade is likely to be produced by the end of the year.

The hub has been cast and the generator and gearbox will be tested in Q1 at Vestas' R&D facility Aarhus, Denmark. It did not give any information on how it increased the V164's capacity.

However, the earliest completion date of a prototype is still 2014 - originally, the first V164 was set to be produced next year. There is no news on whether Vestas has achieved its aim of securing a development partner for the turbine.

Vestas' development of the V164 has been a difficult one. In addition to the prototype postponement - taken in response to "market conditions" - the company also cancelled plans to build an assembly and manufacturing plant in Sheerness, south-east England.

Additionally, the need for the world's number one manufacturer to bring on a partner to build the V164 has surprised many observers. In contrast, Siemens launched its own 6MW turbine with a working prototype two weeks after Vestas CEO Ditlev Engel unveiled the V164.

Speaking at the V164 launch, Engel said the V164 "represented the biggest research and development investment Vestas had made".

Coincidentally, the V164 announcement comes within hours of Vestas revealing a legal investigation into former CFO and deputy CEO Henrik Norremark, which have led to the former executives severance terms being terminated.