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Vestas takes GE’s ‘world’s largest offshore wind turbine’ title

Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas today announced the launch of its new offshore wind turbine – the V236-15.0MW. It replaces US conglomerate GE’s 14MW Haliade-X as having the distinction of being the world’s largest offshore wind turbine.

A comparison

The V236-15.0MW will have will have a rotor diameter of 774 feet (236 meters) and a wind-swept area of 470,845 square feet (43,743 square meters).

In comparison, GE’s Haliade-X has a rotor diameter of 722 feet (220 meters) and a wind-swept area of 409,168 square feet (38,013 square meters).

GE’s 14MW Haliade-X turbines will be used for the first time at Equinor’s and SSE’s Dogger Bank, the world’s largest offshore wind farm, as Electrek reported on December 18. Installation of the 14MW Haliade-X turbines is set to begin in 2025 ahead of completion of the whole Dogger Bank project in 2026.

Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy is also working on a 14MW turbine that will also be able to be boosted to 15 MW if required.

The Vestas V236-15.0MW

The Vestas V236-15.0MW boosts wind energy production to around 80 GWh/year, enough to power around 20,000 European households and save more than 38,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of removing 25,000 passenger cars from the road annually.

Vestas says it optimized design synergies from its existing turbines such as the V174-9.5 MW:

The globally applicable offshore turbine offers 65% higher annual energy production than the V174-9.5 MW, and for a 900 MW wind park it boosts production by 5% with 34 fewer turbines. 

The first V236-15.0 MW prototype is expected to be installed in 2022, while serial production is scheduled for 2024.

Henrik Andersen, Vestas president and CEO, said:

Offshore wind will play an integral role in the growth of wind energy and the V236-15.0 MW will be a driver in this development by lowering levelized cost of energy, thus making our customers more competitive in offshore tenders going forward.

As CNBC reports, Vestas’ revenue in 2020 hit €14.8 billion ($17.9 billion), a 22% increase compared to 2019, despite the pandemic.

Electrek’s Take

I’m not gonna lie, I really geek out on this stuff.

Just when you think offshore wind turbines can’t get any larger, they do. And dangit, I really want to climb into a boat and look at the sweeping, powerful beauty of an offshore wind farm firsthand, once travel is safe again. It must be mind-blowing. I’ve seen hundreds of Denmark’s onshore wind turbines, but the offshore giants will be a different experience.

One of the most exciting things about renewables, and writing about renewables, is the delight in learning about the latest innovations, the anticipation of when they’re put into action, and actually seeing them in action. Will they truly cause a Green Revolution, like the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century (but much cleaner)? That’s where hope comes in.

I can’t wait to see these sweeping giants from Vestas and GE and Siemens cranked up, and for the healthy competition to continue. Will 16 MW follow? Place your bets.

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.