Vestas Launches Offshore R&D Project

Late last week Vestas announced that it is set to begin work on two big R&D projects. The first is work to create more cost-effective deep water foundations for large offshore wind turbines. The second is to develop an Intelligent Energy Management System that will introduce energy storage into a wind power plant.

Building foundations offshore at large depths is a huge challenge. The goal of this project is to be able to design, construct, and build cost effective deep water jacket foundations for very large wind turbines located far offshore in water depths of up to 70 metres. Normally, foundations and turbines are contracted as two separate items.

“The competition on the market is fierce. The winners of the offshore race will be the ones that are able to deliver reliable products that can be installed at very large depths. This offshore project focuses on developing foundations that secures the highest quality possible at lowest possible price. This way we can secure our customers the lowest cost of energy in the long run,” said Finn Strøm Madsen, president of Vestas Technology R&D.

The second project will introduce energy storage into a wind power plant as an optional component for enhanced power generation control.

“Storage embedded in the wind power plant allows the power to be regulated without compromising any capture of available wind energy,” Madsen said.

The Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation announced that they will support the two projects with a total of DKK 55 million [US $8.8 million]. The total cost of the projects will be DKK 110-120 million [US $17.7 – 19.3 million]. Both projects are expected to run for 3-5 years.

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