Denmark's Vestas Wind Systems, the world's leading manufacturer of wind turbines, is certainly busy expanding its product range these days. Having launched two new models – the V100 and V112 – to coincide with the release of its annual accounts in February, Vestas has now unveiled yet another addition to its portfolio, the V60. The news is reported by financial daily newspaper Børsen.
The interesting thing about the V60 is that it is designed for a specific market, namely China, and will be produced at a factory that has just been inaugurated in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia. Another feature of this 850 kW wind turbine is that 90% of the components will be manufactured by Chinese sub-suppliers – an astute move at a time when Vestas is facing intense competition from Chinese wind turbine manufacturers.
At the same time, it means that the numerous Vestas sub-suppliers that have grown up in Denmark over the years, are now facing the situation of seeing the world's fastest-growing wind energy market growing without them. The message to them from Vestas CEO Ditlev Engel is simple. He told Børsen: "My advice to sub-suppliers is to engage themselves in China and establish production there. There's plenty of room."
Vestas' new plant in Hohhot will turn out around 1000 wind turbines annually with a combined output of 600 MW, which equates to the energy production of a nuclear power station. With the Mongolian factory fully on stream, Vestas will more than double its production for the Chinese market. The company will also be well placed to expand production in line with future demand.
Today, Vestas has production facilities in Denmark, Germany, China, India, Italy, UK, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Australia and USA, and has planned or operational research facilities in Denmark, Singapore, India (Chennai), USA (Houston) and UK (Isle of Wight).
*Readers may like to know that the Vestas code designation gives a handy guide to size: the number following the V is the diameter of the rotor in metres. So a V60 has a rotor diameter of 60 metres (197 feet) – Ed.