MHI to supply 700 7MW turbines to UK R3 projects – official

Mitsubishi is set to supply 700 units of its 7MW Sea Angel offshore turbine to UK Round 3 projects involving utility SSE – including the 9.6GW Dogger Bank project – Jin Kato, general manager of the Wind Turbine Business Division of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) tells Recharge.

"We will supply 700 turbines, or around 5GW, when the projects start," he says.

Kato says Japan's MHI has preliminary agreements with SSE, one of the participants in the Forewind Consortium, around supplying Dogger.

SSE is involved in the development of the Sea Angel turbine through the £33m ($51m) Efficient Offshore Wind Programme, along with contractors Wood Group and Technip, and is due to deploy an offshore prototype of the machine in a test site in Hunterston, Scotland, in June this year.

Another Sea Angel prototype will be installed offshore from Fukushima in Japan in August 2014.

In January MHI started testing the drive train that will power Sea Angel at its Yokohama Dockyard & Machinery Works in Japan.

Kato says large-scale installations of the turbine in the UK will begin in 2017, and that supply contracts for Dogger are likely to go to both MHI and German wind turbine supplier Siemens.

However, Kato refused to be drawn on what  –  if any – impact a proposed agreement with Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas could have on the Sea Angel programme.

He said he was unable to comment on whether talks with Vestas are progressing. 

Vestas CEO Ditlev Engel also refused to comment on talks, saying there is "nothing to add to what we said in August," when it announced it was discussing "potential strategic cooperation" with MHI.

Discussions are believed to be focussed on forming a joint venture for the offshore sector, as well as potentially the sale of a strategic stake in Vestas.

Vestas is developing its V164 8MW turbine, with the deployment of the first prototype due in 2014.

Engel refused to say whether he had met with MHI in Tokyo, saying "I am meeting with lots of people", adding that Vestas is interested in the development of the Japanese wind market – where it is currently the market leader – in its own right.

Note: Amends test date of prototype in Scotland from 2014 to 2013.