The recent launch of the V164-7.0 MW, Vestas’ first ever purpose-built offshore wind turbined, introduced a turbine of epic proportions. A wind turbine with components of this size demands new wind energy manufacturing facilities and in order to prepare for the planned 2015 serial production of the new wind turbine Vestas has signed an agreement for 70 hectares of land at the Port of Sheerness in Kent, UK to eventually serve these purposes.
The UK represents the world’s largest offshore wind power market and as such has a massive offshore wind farm project pipeline. The UK Round 3 wind farm projects alone account for 32 GW. Vestas is committed to working with the UK government and offshore wind energy stakeholders to turn this pipeline into operational offshore wind farms and thereby ensuring not only sustainable energy for the UK, but also a large number of new jobs being created.
Vestas is prepared to make the necessary significant investment in turning the option into a full lease and building the planned new production facilities, thereby creating more than 2000 direct and indirect new jobs – provided the V164-7.0 MW order pipeline materialises as expected.
Job creation is a two-way street
With this option agreement in place, Vestas has shown our willingness and commitment to making major investments benefitting the UK, but Vestas alone cannot make it happen.
“We have shown our intentions to make major investments and subsequent job creation, but it is evident that we don’t just jump head first into an investment of this size. We need to make sure it makes sense business wise,” says Anders Søe-Jensen, President of Vestas Offshore A/S and continues: “Before our customers can provide us with the needed order pipeline, they need to see stability in the market and a long term political and regulatory certainty that ensures their business case. Making that happen lies in the hands of the policy makers, so we are looking forward to seeing the UK government providing the best possible terms for the offshore wind industry to truly take off and the potential jobs becoming a reality”.
So, to secure the needed strong and predictable V164-7.0 MW order pipeline Vestas will be seeking two things:
– market and regulatory certainty from a transparent, long-term and stable policy framework
– and public investment support to de-risk and reduce the large infrastructural investments required to build a facility of these proportions.
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The port option means that Vestas has secured exclusive rights to land, giving us the possibility in the future to invest in and build a fully integrated wind turbine manufacturing and installation facility. The option on the land lasts for approximately one year with possibility to extend another 12 months.