Vestas attaches blades to 8MW unit

Vestas has bolted on the blades to its prototype 8MW turbine at the Danish national wind test centre in Østerild.

The overnight operation saw a team of 12 fix the 80m blades to the flagship V164-8.0 machine at a rate of one every three hours.

“[We] took advantage of a change in wind conditions overnight to install all three blades ... between approximately 2000 January 13 and 0730 January 14,” says the company. “The process was smooth.”

The 35-tonne blades, which are based on “structural shell” technology in which the wind loads are borne by the outer surface of the blade rather than inner spar supports, were manufactured at the Vestas R&D centre on the UK’s Isle of Wight.

The turbine is now being prepared for commissioning, expected to be complete “in the coming weeks”.

Vestas and compatriot developer Dong Energy have an “enhanced” co-operation agreement to deploy the offshore machine at Østerild as part of plans to accelerate roll-out.

The V164-8.0, which has a swept area of 21,124 sq m, is on course to be the world’s most powerful turbine, with one machine capable of supplying electricity for 7,500 European households.

Last September, Vestas and Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries formed a joint venture targeting the offshore wind market, transferring development of the V164-8.0MW turbine, its order book for its workhorse V112 turbine, and around 300 employees to the combine.

Depending on orders, serial production of the 8MW turbine is foreseen to start in 2015.