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Vestas Wins First Order For Biggest Offshore Wind Turbine

Vestas Wind Systems A/S won its first commercial order for the world’s most powerful offshore wind turbine, pending buyer Dong Energy A/S’s final investment decision in a U.K. project.

The conditional agreement is for 32 8-megawatt V164 devices to be installed in Dong’s Burbo Bank Extension project in Liverpool Bay off northwest England, Dong said today in an e-mailed statement. The machines would be supplied by MHI Vestas Offshore Wind, the venture set up earlier this year by Vestas and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.

“Larger and more cost-efficient wind turbines are key elements in the realization of Dong Energy’s strategy towards reducing the cost of electricity from offshore wind,” said Samuel Leupold, an executive vice president at Dong. “Competition among the offshore wind turbine manufacturers will increase.”

Dong already said in February that Vestas was its preferred supplier for the project.

The order will help the venture make inroads into an offshore wind-turbine market dominated by Siemens AG, which had an 83 percent share of European sales last year. With Dong welcoming MHI Vestas’s “commitment to set up a supply chain in the United Kingdom,” it’s also a fillip for U.K. government efforts to attract manufacturers.

A spokesman for MHI Vestas declined to provide further details of the planned supply chain developments. Parent company Vestas limited itself to confirming the agreement in a separate statement, without providing further details.

“As soon as the project translates into a firm and unconditional order in accordance with Vestas’ definition, Vestas will disclose a company announcement about this,” Vestas said.

The Burbo Bank extension in April won a U.K. contract guaranteeing the power prices the generator will receive for 15 years. Offshore construction is expected to start in 2016 and the wind farm will be able to supply electricity to more than 230,000 homes, Dong said.

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