Vestas today (Friday) unveiled the first completed blade for its flagship 15MW offshore wind turbine – and revealed plans to build the giant components in Italy.

The debut 115.5-metre blade rolled out of the turbine-maker’s production plant in Nakskov, Denmark, ahead of its journey to form part of the V236-15.0 MW prototype deployment at the Danish national test centre in Osterild.

Nakskov had to be retooled and extended to accommodate the blades, which will give the 15MW machine its 43,000 square metre swept area once in place at sea.

Vestas chief operations officer Tommy Rahbek Nielsen said the other two prototype blades were “well underway. This is the culmination of many months of dedicated and hard work at the Nakskov factory and colleagues across the full Vestas value chain.”

Unwrapping of the first blade came as Vestas confirmed its plant in Taranto, Italy, will join Nakskov as a site for serial production of the V236 blades from the second half of next year.

Taranto, which employs 750 people, already makes blades for Vestas’ 2MW and 4MW onshore machines.

Aissa Diabi, Vestas Mediterranean COO, said: “The V236-15.0 MW blade production will benefit from the technical expertise and experience accumulated at the Taranto factory over the last two decades. In this regard, we expect the plant to make a significant contribution to the expansion of the offshore market in Europe.”

Southern Europe is tipped by analysts to become an increasingly key region for offshore wind expansion thanks to major plans for deepwater floating projects off Spain, Portugal and Italy itself.

Vestas will make V236 nacelles at Lindo, Denmark, and a new plant in Poland.

The Danish wind giant unveiled the 15MW machine in early 2021. It said it now has deals lined up for 6.8GW of turbines.