Vestas cancels U.K. offshore wind facility

Vestas Wind Systems will not move forward with plans to build a manufacturing facility for offshore wind systems at Port of Sheerness in the U.K.; Vestas says it is moving forward with plans to develop a 7-MW turbine with 80m blades at its Isle of Wight facility.

Vestas Wind Systems A/S (Aarhus, Denmark) reported June 22 that it and Port of Sheerness, Kent, U.K., have jointly announced that further development of a Vestas facility at the port will not proceed at this stage. The facility was planned to be a major manufacturing plant of Vestas offshore wind systems.

”Vestas’ strong commitment to the development of both the offshore and onshore wind industries is not affected by this decision. We will remain active across the two markets in the UK as they both continue to show considerable potential,” says Juan Araluce, chief sales officer at Vestas Wind Systems A/S.

Peel Ports ehief executive Mark Whitworth says, “We are extremely disappointed that we have been unable to conclude the agreement with Vestas. However, we remain fully committed to the strategy outlined for the Port of Sheerness of attracting major renewables manufacturers to complement our valued heritage business within the significant footprint of the Port."

Vestas notes that it has a strong presence in the U.K., including the newly upgraded test facilities on the Isle of Wight that undertake research and development into all aspects of wind turbine technology. The facility on the Isle of Wight will build and test the first components for Vestas’ new offshore dedicated turbine, the V164-7.0 MW, including its 80m/262-ft long blades. Vestas is also working on the development and construction of a number of key wind projects, both onshore and offshore, with U.K. customers.

Vestas will install the first V164-7.0 MW prototype in 2014. Timing for serial production of the V164-7.0 MW will depend on market development and firm and unconditional orders from customers.