Scotland Breaks Offshore Wind Records with Powerful Turbines and Innovative Foundations

According to Vattenfall, two offshore wind industry firsts have been achieved over the past two weeks in Scotland. On Monday, April 9, the company announced that it successfully installed the world’s most powerful single turbine — an 8.8-MW behemoth standing 191 meters to blade tip and boasting a nacelle that is larger than the London Eye. The turbine is one of 11 that will be installed at the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC), also known as the Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm.

Related: Scottish Offshore Wind Demonstration Project Triumphs Over Trump 

Monday’s announcement is just two weeks after the first of EOWDC’s suction bucket jacket foundations was successfully installed, the first time that foundations of this type have been used at commercial scale.

The EOWDC facility is located in Aberdeen Bay. Vattenfall said that the turbine it installed on Monday is one of two MHI Vestas turbines that have enhanced internal power modes so that they generate more wind energy. The two turbines have each increased from 8.4 MW to 8.8 MW.

Together with the nine 8.4-MW turbines, this boosts the EOWDC’s generation capacity to 93.2 MW.

Gunnar Groebler, Vattenfall’s Head of Business Area Wind, said: “The turbines for the EOWDC, Scotland’s largest offshore wind test and demonstration facility, help secure Vattenfall’s vision to be fossil fuel free within one generation. The EOWDC, through its innovative approach to cost reduction and pioneering technologies, leads the industry drive towards generating clean and competitive wind energy power – one that will reinforce Scotland’s global energy status.”

EOWDC project director at Vattenfall, Adam Ezzamel remarked that Vattenfall is excited to be working with the cutting-edge technology deployed at the site.

“It is remarkable that just one rotation of the blades can power the average UK home for a day,” he added.  

The turbines are being transported from Esbjerg to Aberdeen by Swire Blue Ocean’s vessel, the Pacific Orca, where they will be lifted into position on the installed foundations. The Pacific Orca is believed to be the world’s largest wind farm installation vessel.

Watch a time-lapse of the installation in the 35-second video below.

Related: Don’t miss your chance to grab the early-bird registration rate for Renewable Energy World’s Offshore Wind Executive Summit, set to hit Houston, Texas on September 13-14. 

Lead image shows the 8.8-MW MHI Vestas Turbine being installed. Credit: Vattenfall.

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Jennifer Runyon has been studying and reporting about the world's transition to clean energy since 2007. As editor of the world's largest renewable energy publication, Renewable Energy World, she observed, interviewed experts about, and reported on major clean energy milestones including Germany's explosive growth of solar PV, the formation and development of the U.S. onshore wind industry, the U.K. offshore wind boom, China's solar manufacturing dominance, the rise of energy storage, the changing landscape for utilities and grid operators and much, much, more. Today, in addition to managing content on Renewable Energy World and POWERGRID International, she also serves as the conference advisory committee chair for DISTRIBUTECH, a globally recognized conference for the transmission and distribution industry. You can reach her at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com

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