The UKs offshore turbine market received a boost today with the announcement by the Danish manufacturer Vestas that a prototype 7MW turbine is to be tested next year. The companys biggest ever turbine is to stand 187 meters tall from seabed to tip, and has a rotor diameter of 164 meters.
Speaking at a press conference in London, company representatives highlighted the potential of the UKs offshore wind sector to provide a large portion of the countrys energy needs. The President of Vestas Offshore, Anders Soe-Jensen, said:
Were seeing positive indications from governments worldwide, especially the UK. We expect the major part of offshore wind development to happen in the northern part of Europe.
The blades for the prototype will be built at the Vestas plant on the Isle of Wight. RenewableUKs Director of Policy, Dr Gordon Edge, said: This is a vote of confidence in the offshore wind sector, and if the conditions are right could bring significant investment to the UK.
Construction of the first prototypes is set to begin in Q4 2012. Serial production is expected to start in Q1 2015. The announcement follows pledges by Siemens earlier this year to build an offshore wind turbine factory in the UK. Vestas is the current market leader, with 65% of the UK offshore market.