Vestas has completed the installation of a prototype of its giant V236-15.0MW offshore wind turbine at the Østerild National test centre in Western Jutland, Denmark.

After the prototype has produced its first kWh of electricity, it will undergo an extensive test and verification programme to ensure reliability before full type certification and serial production starts.

“This is a great step forward in our ambition to accelerate the green energy transition and it is a major milestone for Vestas and our partners,” Vestas chief technology officer Anders Nielsen said.

“With this wind turbine we set new standards for technological innovation, industrialisation and scale across renewable energy to create a sustainable offshore wind industry.”

The OEM had launched the giant offshore machine in February of last year and so far already has won more than 8GW in preferred supplier agreements for it.

In October, Vestas announced it will also produce the 115.5-metre-long blades for the V236 at a factory in Taranto, southern Italy, eyeing the emerging floating wind market in southern Europe.

Prototype development and assembly work so far has taken place across the company’s R&D production sites in Denmark.

The turbine’s swept area exceeds 43,000 m2, enough to produce some 80GWh of electricity per year, Vestas said. That is sufficient to power around 20,000 European households and displace more than 38,000 tonnes of CO2 every year.

The V236-15.0MW has an energy yield that is about two thirds higher than that of the V174-9.5MW, one of its predecessor models. The offshore wind giant has a capacity factor of over 60% (depending on site conditions), Vestas claims.