China’s MingYang Smart Energy today (Wednesday) claimed a new wind industry milestone with the launch of “the world’s biggest onshore turbine” with a rated capacity of 8.5MW.

The Chinese OEM said the MySE 8.5-216 with a rotor diameter of 216 metres forms part of its latest onshore platform that already includes a 7.15MW model.

MingYang said in a social media post that the 8.5MW turbine can generate 200MWh of power a day, and offers 10% construction and energy cost savings over its 6MW predecessor when deployed at a 1GW wind farm.

The 8MW machine in terms of rated power takes the Chinese OEM beyond those currently marketed by Western peers such as Vestas and Siemens Gamesa, which have launched 7MW turbines, and mirrors the rapid escalation by China’s wind industry in the offshore sector.

As well as serving China’s world-leading domestic wind market, Chinese manufacturers are seeking to expand into new geographies.

Europe’s wind industry issued a string of urgent warnings last year over the financial pressures facing its own manufacturers – all of which have posted hefty losses – and said Chinese groups could step in to meet booming demand if Western players can’t get back on a sounder footing.

The CEO for Europe at German wind OEM Nordex told Recharge in an interview last year that ratings could surpass 10MW.

Ibrahim Özarslan said: “At the moment, I don’t see necessarily a limitation to say everything will stop in onshore at 10MW or something like that. It will continue. We are getting much more innovative, we are trying to find new solutions, to find rotor, generators towers solutions.”

The industry’s escalation of scale and power has brought numerous new challenges, not least in securing planning consent in European markets where developments involving large machines can face opposition, and the logistic and transportation challenges of huge turbines.