Vestas' Vedel calls for more test opportunities

DENMARK: Denmark should offer more opportunities for test turbines, the chief technology officer of manufacturer Vestas said at industry gathering Wind Energy Denmark 2018.

Vestas CTO addresses delegates at Wind Energy Denmark 2018 (pic: DWIA)

Anders Vedel said the manufacturer had been working to open a commercial test site for five years and is still yet to receive a licence.

"It is not possible to underestimate the importance of test sites," Vedel said, according to the Danish Wind Industry Association (DWIA).

"Recently, the test centres in Østerild and Høvsøre were expanded, which is important.

"However, we also need access to tests in a commercial environment and the need is growing," Vedel added.

Vestas was awarded a vacant test stand at Technical University of Denmark's (DTU) centre in early October.

Across DTU’s two test sites, which are being expanded, Vestas has five test beds it shares with its offshore wind joint venture MHI Vestas.

"My point here is very direct: There is a need for a national strategy that prioritises the possibility of wind turbine testing," said Vedel, warning a lack of beds would mean Vestas moving its testing of larger turbines outside of Denmark.

In response, the energy spokesman for the Social Democrat party, Jens Joel, told Wind Energy Denmark delegates there was a desire to keep innovating, even if support for commercial wind projects was no longer required.

"Many of my political colleagues regard wind turbines as a mature technology. Thus, the need to invest is no longer so big.

"There is a change now, as politicians will no longer have to provide grants for wind turbine production of electricity.

"This does not mean that the wind turbine industry should not have support. It will just no longer be for production, but for research and development," Joel said, according to DWIA.