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Vestas launches ‘world’s tallest wind turbine tower’


A Vestas wind turbine photographed in Denmark. The company announced on Tuesday that it will launch an onshore wind turbine tower with a hub height of 199 meters.

Jonah Walzberg | Image Alliance | Getty Images

Danish company Vestas announced on Tuesday that it is launching an onshore wind turbine tower with a hub height measuring 199 meters (just under 653ft), in the latest example of how the industry is moving towards tower structures. bigger and bigger.

In a statement, the Aarhus-based company described it as “currently the world’s tallest land tower for wind turbines”.

Vestas said the launch was undertaken in cooperation with German company Max Bögl.

Vestas said the tower’s height would “harvest a stronger, more consistent wind” and increase a turbine’s power output.

“Especially for projects in Central Europe which are usually limited by the available planning space, this makes an important contribution to maximizing green power generation,” he added.

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The tower was designed for use by Vestas’ V172-7.2MW turbine. The idea is to use it in Germany and Austria. Facilities will be offered in 2025.

The tower uses both concrete and steel, combining what Vestas called “proprietary technologies” from itself and Max Bögl.

Towers are important components of a wind turbine, with crucial kit comprising the nacelle and blades resting on them. The US Department of Energy defines the hub height of a turbine as “the distance from the ground to the middle of the turbine rotor”.

The DOE adds that the hub height of large-scale onshore turbines “has increased by 66% since 1998-1999, reaching approximately 94 meters (308 feet) in 2021.” It’s about the same height as the Statue of Liberty.

At 199 meters, the hub height of Vestas would be significantly higher.

The increasing size of wind turbines has raised concerns about the capacity of port infrastructure, highways and ships used to install wind turbines at sea. Despite this, the era of “oversized” turbines is fast approaching.

Along with the onshore sector, offshore turbines have also gained momentum in recent years. GE Renewable Energy’s Haliade-X offshore turbine, for example, can reach a height of 260 meters and blades measuring 107 meters.

Recent years have seen a number of major offshore wind projects come to fruition. In early September, Danish energy company Orsted said “the world’s largest offshore wind farm” was fully operational.

Looking to the future, the White House also announced this month that it is targeting 15 gigawatts of floating offshore wind capacity by 2035.

“The Biden-Harris administration is launching coordinated actions to develop new floating offshore wind platforms, an emerging clean energy technology that will help the United States take the lead in offshore wind,” a statement also released. by the US Department of the Interior, said.

The announcement says the 15 GW target would provide enough clean energy to power more than 5 million homes. It builds on the administration’s goal of reaching 30GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030, an existing ambition that will be mostly met by fixed-bottom installations.

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