Vestas Announces Giant 7 MW Offshore Wind Turbine
Written By: John Shimkus
Denmark’s Vestas—one of the most recognized names in the wind industry, and the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturer—has announced the creation of its newest turbine design: a 7 MW behemoth.
The new offshore turbine is designed to withstand the most brutal of weather and sea conditions. With a rotor diameter of 190 yards, the giant turbine competes with some of the biggest wind turbines in existence today.
Vestas unveiled the new 7 MW turbine this week at a news conference in London. Thus far, the company is developing the initial prototype, but expects commercial production of the giant turbine to begin by 2015. Vestas has its eyes set on contracts for several upcoming planned wind farms off of the coasts of the UK.
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"Seeing the positive indications from governments worldwide and especially from the UK, to increase the utilization of wind energy is indeed very promising," said Vestas Chief Executive Officer Ditlev Engel. "We look forward to this new turbine doing its part in making these political targets a reality."
Vestas newest design uses a traditional geared machine drive versus a direct-drive. While direct-drive systems hypothetically require less maintenance, they are less cost-effective, and Vestas’ decision to use proven geared machine technology will offer customers the lowest cost option in large-scale offshore turbines. The problem with this decision, however, is that maintenance costs over the long-run could potentially be higher than with a direct-drive system, which has far less moving parts.
bp buys 9GW of solar projects from 7X Energy for $220m
bp will pay 7X Energy $220 million for the projects and 1GW of 'safe harbour' equipment and expects the acquisition to complete in 30 days. The projects, spread across 12 states - with the largest portfolios in Texas (ERCOT) and MidWest (PJM) - are expected to meet bp’s low carbon investment criteria, generating returns of at least 8-10%.
Assets with a combined generating capacity of 2.2GW are expected to reach final investment decision (FID) by 2025, with the remaining progressing by 2030. Once developed, these projects will have the capacity to generate enough clean energy to power around 1.7 million US homes. The development is also expected to support thousands of jobs through construction.
The acquisition represents a significant step towards bp’s target of growing its net developed renewable generating capacity to 20GW by 2025 and aim to increase this to 50GW by 2030.
The deal will also grow bp’s renewables pipeline from 14GW to 23GW. The assets will be developed through bp’s 50-50 solar joint venture Lightsource bp, which will apply its capabilities to accelerate bp’s renewables targets.
Dev Sanyal, bp executive vice president of gas and low carbon energy, said: "With this purchase, we are continuing to put our strategy in action as we grow our renewables business in a deliberate and disciplined way. It brings us 9GW of high-quality solar projects in markets where we can create integrated renewable energy offers through our trading and customer franchises."
More than half of new US utility-scale solar PV capacity is planned for four states this year, with Texas comfortably the largest (28%), followed by Nevada (9%), California (9%), and North Carolina (7%), according to the US Energy Information Administration. Solar will account for 39% of all new US electricity generation capacity in 2021, surpassing wind for the first time, according to ResearchAndMarkets.com.