Vestas claims offshore installation 'breakthrough'

DENMARK: Vestas has pre-assembled and supplied 16 V112 3MW to the Karehamn offshore wind farm, something the manufacturer describes as a "milestone".

V112s preassembled at Esbjerg
V112s preassembled at Esbjerg

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The turbines were assembled at a new facility at Esbjerg harbour, Denmark. Under the new system, the nacelles arrive at the port with the hub and drivetrain already mounted and tested.

The blades arrive at the harbour ready to be inserted into the hub. The tower comes in two sections and is assembled and put into an upright position prior to shipping.

Speaking about the initiative, Vestas Offshore senior vice president Uffe Vinther-Schou said he believed Vestas had taken offshore construction to the "next level" while cutting risk, costs and avoiding delays due to weather conditions.

"Preparing and testing turbines to get ready to go offshore, spending little time — this is plug and play in hours rather than days, and we believe that is a major milestone," he said.

Vinther-Schou explained that the decision to look at increasing onshore construction had come after learning lessons installing turbines on other projects: "If we go back to Blyth and Thanet, we did tests and saw we were capable of eliminating tasks offshore. But if we go further back into the past with projects like Robin Rigg and Scroby Sands, with these offshore projects we found [we were] having to depend on expensive installation vessels and doing tasks offshore where, if we have 8/9 metres per second winds then we were home safe to do things, if it was above that it wasn't."

He added that the new system was not dependent on size, and the V164 8MW turbine could be installed in the same way. "The V164 will certainly also benefit from our industrialisation of construction here. There's nothing that prevents us from scaling this to the V164."

However, Vestas said there were no plans to assemble the V164 at Esbjerg.

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