United Kingdom

United Kingdom

The new benchmark

UK: A new offshore wind project and a new benchmark set. MHI Vestas has installed the first turbine at Vattenfall's European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC), with a capacity of 8.8MW -- the highest-rated turbine installed in the water to date.

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click to enlarge (pic: TVP Film and Multimedia)

Vattenfall’s 93.2MW EOWDC project off Aberdeen, in east Scotland, was always destined to be a landmark site. The whole idea of the project is to test new and innovative technology, offering an insight into what tomorrow’s offshore wind projects might look like.

The site’s 11 turbines will be connected with new 66kV inter-array and export cables, and installed on jacket substructures secured to the floor with suction-bucket foundations, opening the door to commercialisation for these subsea solutions.

But the project is also now home to the largest capacity operating wind turbines. The first of two V164 machines with a rated capacity of 8.8MW was installed at the site last month. The remaining nine turbines will be 8.4MW. Each turbine has a 191-metre tip height.

A single rotation of the 80-metre blades can power a typical UK household for an entire day, Vattenfall claimed.

MHI Vestas’ chief operations officer, Flemming Ougaard, said, "Our collaboration with Vattenfall not only provides clean wind energy for the UK, but also is an important opportunity for us to gain valuable experience with several different technologies."

But as with all new records currently in the offshore industry, they already look set to be broken. GE Renewable Energy’s new 12MW Haliade turbine — with an expected tip height of 220 metres — is set to dwarf this MHI Vestas machine in just a few years.

The EOWDC previously made national headlines in 2015, after an appeal lodged by US-president-to-be Donald Trump was rejected by the UK Supreme Court. The project can be seen from one of the property tycoon’s Scottish golf courses.

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