Vestas Wind Systems Showing Signs of a Strong Recovery

For the past two years, Vestas Wind Systems has struggled. Last year the company announced it was cutting more than 3,000 jobs in order to try to stay solvent. An oversupply of wind turbines on the market forced turbine prices down over the past years. This plus uncertainty around the U.S. production tax credit, increased competition from Chinese companies and a tightening of the European renewable energy market have all added up to difficult times for the giant wind turbine manufacturer.

Recent announcements made by Vestas however, signal a turnaround. Today the company announced that it has secured “a firm and conditional order” from Canadian developers EDF EN Canada and Enbridge for 166 of its 1.8-MW turbines.  The wind turbines will be installed in the 299-MW Blackspring Ridge Wind Project, which is a joint venture between the two Canadian developers. Vestas said this order is its largest Canadian order ever. The companies expect delivery on the turbines to begin in the second half of 2013. 

Vestas is also standing by its product, offering a 20+ year service agreement with the order, what it says is “the longest in Vestas’ history in the U.S. and Canada.”  Vestas’ U.S. factories in Colorado will be involved in manufacturing components for Blackspring Ridge, located in Alberta. Once commissioned, it will be the largest wind farm in Western Canada

In other news, Vestas announced that it is now shipping three new additions to its 3-MW turbine line: the V112-3.3 MW, the V117-3.3 MW and the V126-3.3 MW. The largest onshore wind farm in Denmark will be using the new machines.  Once completed the Noerhede Hjortmose project, which will be located in the western part of Denmark, will be the largest onshore wind power plant in Denmark.

Analysts have noted that the new 3.3-MW turbines could also be of interest to developers looking to replace aging wind turbines with new technology that offers greater wind harvest.

According to Bloomberg, Vestas shares gained the most in two months based on these announcements.  Vestas gained as much as 11 percent, the most since Feb. 7, with trading volume at 79 percent of its three-month average said Bloomberg, which also said that the stock was the best performer in Copenhagen’s benchmark index and traded up 8.2 percent at 45.40 kroner at 11:47 a.m. in the Danish capital.

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Jennifer Runyon
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. You can reach her at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com 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 and expo for the transmission and distribution industry. In her role, she works in close cooperation with a large team of committed industry executives to shape the educational content for the event. She also helps assemble the renewable energy content for POWERGEN and helped launch the first Grid-Scale Storage Summit, a co-located event at HYDROVISION International. She has traveled to Germany to see onshore and offshore wind installations; Iceland to see geothermal energy in action; and France to see cutting-edge smart grids. In the U.S. she has visited and reported about bioenergy power plants in Florida, both large-scale and small-scale hydropower; and multiple wind farms, solar PV, and CSP installations. Formerly, she was the managing editor of Innovate Forum, an online publication that focused on innovation in manufacturing. Prior to that she was the managing editor at Desktop Engineering magazine. In 2008, she won an "Eddy Award" for her editing work on an article about solar trees in Vienna. In 2010, RenewableEnergyWorld.com was awarded an American Business Media Neal Award for its eNewsletters, which were created under her direction. She holds a Master's Degree in English Education from Boston University and a BA in English from the University of Virginia.

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