LM Wind Power to make world's longest wind turbine blade for offshore use

Blademaker LM Wind Power has formed a strategic partnership with French energy producer Alstom to develop what is expected to be the longest wind blade to date, for use in offshore wind farms.

Wind blade manufacturer LM Wind Power (Kolding, Denmark) and energy producer Alstom (Levallois-Perret, France) announced on Feb. 8 that the two companies have entered a strategic partnership to develop the longest wind turbine blade ever produced, designed to fit Alstom’s new 6-MW wind turbine for the European offshore wind market.

LM says the blade requires more than 20,000 hours of work by LM Wind Power’s specialist teams, with particular emphasis on aerodynamics, structural design and production processes. The design is specifically tailored for Alstom’s new 6-MW wind turbine and is based on LM Wind Power's proprietary profile, developed in its wind tunnel in Denmark. The company also reports that the blade will be relatively lighter, thanks to innovation in glass fiber and polyester material innovation.

The length of the new blade has not been specified, but will be longer than LM's longest blade, the 61.5m/202-ft 61.5P2, which is manufactured at the company’s Lunderskov, Denmark, factory; this facility also will produce the new blade, which will be ready for installation at Alstom prototype sites in Europe over the winter of 2011-2012. Future production depends on the end markets that Alstom wishes to address, most likely France, U.K. and other North Sea markets.

“We are proud to partner with Alstom on this important project. I am sure that Alstom’s turbines flying the world’s longest wind turbine blades from LM Wind Power will set a new standard for cost of energy with an advantage over current offshore turbines,” says Roland Sundén, CEO, LM Wind Power Group. “This new blade builds on the innovative features developed for our recent blade launch, the GloBlade, which has proved to be tremendously successful, offering an additional annual energy production of 4 to 5 percent compared to standard blades."