The visit will give the Energy minister an opportunity to see the success of the UK’s green energy policies in creating jobs and driving innovation as well as investment in a clean-energy future.
“With a 60 million euro upgrade of our existing facilities, we are prepared to not only test our newest offshore wind turbines – the V164-7.0 MW – but also future generations of wind turbines made for the upcoming investments in offshore wind energy in the UK,” says Ditlev Engel, President and CEO of Vestas.
“Even though we were forced to close the production facilities in 2009, we promised to continue to make significant investments on the Isle of Wight – a promise we have kept. Our new test centre is proof of Vestas’ commitment to the UK and is a shining example of the conversion of a facility to high end innovative jobs and of the societal investments that green energy policies can bring,” says Ditlev Engel.
Ditlev Engel will conduct a meeting with the Energy minister as well as personally guide the minister around the site. Here Mr Chris Huhne will see the two large test halls, each 170 m long and 50 m wide – prepared to test some of the biggest blades in the wind power industry, including the 80 m blades for the new V164-7.0 MW offshore wind turbine.
New test facility plays a key role in the UK’s offshore wind farm investments
As part of Vestas’ further commitment to the UK, Vestas is preparing to build a manufacturing plant dedicated to the new V164-7.0 MW offshore wind turbine at the port of Sheerness in Kent, provided there is a sufficient order intake for the V164-7.0 MW. It has the potential of creating 2,000 new jobs and confirming the UK as the global leader in offshore wind power technology.
“The V164-7.0 MW and the specialised test facilities on the Isle of Wight demonstrates that Vestas is prepared to play a vital role for the UK’s upcoming investments in wind energy, particularly round 3 of the offshore wind energy projects,” says Ditlev Engel. “I’m looking forward to discussing this with Mr Chris Huhne and thank him and the UK government for staying firm and committed to developing wind energy in the UK – onshore as well as offshore.”
Being part of a sustainable economy
On 2 August on the Isle of Wight, Ditlev Engel will also meet local sustainability campaigner Ellen MacArthur to learn more about the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and its work on building a sustainable economy.
“It will be a pleasure to meet Ellen and learn about the great work the Ellen MacArthur Foundation has undertaken in providing inspiration for a sustainable future, and how well that links to Vestas’ ‘As green as it gets’ philosophy. I am sure there is more we can do together in the future,” says Ditlev Engel.
West Medina Mills is Vestas’ UK headquarters for Technology R&D. Vestas has 220 permanent employees on the Isle of Wight. The site undertakes research and development into all aspects of wind turbine technology, but specialises in blades.
The new test facility consists of two test halls both 170 m long and 50 m wide. One hall is for blade test and verification and one hall is for manufacturing blade prototypes.
The original Vestas factory sites that were decommissioned in 2009 have been fully converted into the R&D technology activities and are now a prototyping centre for onshore wind turbine components.
Every single day, Vestas wind turbines deliver clean energy that supports the global fight against climate change. Wind power from Vestas’ more than 43,000 wind turbines currently reduces carbon emissions by approx 50 million tons of CO2 every year, while at the same time building energy security and independence.
Today, Vestas operates in close to 70 countries, providing jobs for over 20,000 passionate people at our service and project sites, research facilities, factories and offices all over the world.