World’s Most Powerful Wind Turbine Installed Off the Coast of Scotland

The world’s most powerful wind turbine, the first of two 8.8 megawatt (MW) turbines, has been successfully installed off the coast of North East Scotland, which is set to be a groundbreaking testbed for new offshore wind technologies.

The European Offshore Wind Deployment Center (EOWDC) in Aberdeen Bay, Scotland, conceived as a 92.4 MW, 11 turbine offshore wind test and demonstration facility, is hosting these turbines– EOWDC is being developed as a world-class hub of offshore wind innovation.

The project was initially caught up in a protracted legal battle with none other than then-real estate magnate Donald Trump — who promptly lost all legal challenges to prevent the construction of an offshore wind farm he considered would be an eyesore for members of his nearby Trump International Golf Club, the CleanTechnica reported.

Since then, however, progress has proceeded rapidly, and the hopes of many have come to fruition with the creation of a next-generation testbed for new offshore wind technologies.

Supported by the massive 25,000 ton Asian Hercules III floating crane (seen below), the foundations for the EOWDC are being installed using a new method of securing the massive towers to the seafloor that is faster, more environmentally friendly and quiet, and much easier to uninstall if and when necessary.

Now, the next phase of construction has resulted in the installation of one of two wind turbines which have been specifically enhanced to increase their output by modifying their internal power modes. Specifically, the two turbines have been increased from 8.4 MW to 8.8 MW, which in turn increases EOWDC’s output to 93.2 MW, and as such it will generate 70% of Aberdeen’s domestic electricity demand while displacing 134,128 tons of CO2 annually. This is the first time an 8.8 MW wind turbine has been installed for commercial application.

It might not sound a lot — an increase of 0.4 MW — but the EOWDC is intended to serve as a demonstration facility, first and foremost, and testing the application of these incremental increases to wind turbine output could yield significant benefits. Two wind turbines modified such may only increase overall output by 0.8 MW, but a wind farm made up of 100 of these turbines would benefit from a 40 MW increase, simply by modifying existing turbines.

The V164-8.4 MW and V164-8.8 MW wind turbines were manufactured and modified by MHI Vestas, and have an enormous tip height of 191 meters, with 80 meter blades.

“We are very excited by the cutting-edge technology deployed on all the turbines and it is remarkable that just one rotation of the blades can power the average UK home for a day,” said EOWDC project director at Vattenfall, Adam Ezzamel.

“The installation of the first of these powerful turbines at Aberdeen Bay is another milestone in Scotland’s renewables story,” added Gina Hanrahan, Acting Head of Policy at WWF Scotland. “Offshore wind, which has halved in cost in recent years, is critical in the fight against climate change, helping to reduce emissions, keep the lights on and create thousands of jobs across the Scotland and the UK.

“Developments like this have an important role to play in securing the Scottish Government’s target to meet half of all Scotland’s energy demand from renewables by 2030.”

Scotland is home to approximately 25% of Europe’s offshore wind resource and projects.

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