The 330 megawatt Walney Extension West offshore wind farm has begun wind turbine installation and will go down as the world’s first offshore wind project to use wind turbines rated at 8.25 megawatts.
Located in the Irish Sea off the coast of the North West of England, the Walney Extension West offshore wind project recently began the installation of its 40 MHI Vestas’ V164-8.0 MW (megawatt) wind turbines. 8 MW wind turbines were installed at the 258 MW Burbo Bank Extension Offshore Wind Farm earlier this year, the first time an offshore wind farm has used turbines so large. Developed by DONG Energy, Burbo Bank began installation of 32 of Vestas’ 8 MW behemoths.
However, MHI Vestas this week announced that, again in cooperation with DONG Energy, its 8 MW wind turbines will be installed at the 330 MW Walney Extension West offshore wind farm, but they have been optimized and rated to deliver a maximum output of 8.25 MW, making the project the world’s first project to utilize turbines exceeding 8 MW.
“We are very happy to see installation at Walney Extension West starting well,” said MHI Vestas Chief Operations Officer, Flemming Ougaard. “With the first turbine now installed and producing power to the grid, we look forward to a good partnership with DONG Energy over the coming months as we continue installing the remaining 39 turbines.”
“We are delighted to have passed such an important milestone for the project,” added Andrew Cotterell, Walney Extension programme director at DONG Energy. “With the construction focus now off-shore we really appreciate the good progress we are making on the turbine installation of the West phase of Walney Extension together with MHI Vestas.”
MHI Vestas’ V164-8.0 wind turbine is a behemoth of a structure, with 80-meter blades and a swept area of 21,124 square meters. Reaching 187 meters tall at its highest point, the turbine has the potential to generate tremendous amounts of renewable energy — in December of 2016 a single turbine was rated at generating 216 MWh over a 24-hour period.