Denmark's Vestas Wind Systems, the world's leading manufacturer of wind turbines, not only posted a robust set of 2008 results and an optimistic 2009 outlook on Wednesday 11 February, but also used the occasion to announce two new wind turbine models.
First the numbers. Financial daily newspaper Børsen reports that 2008 revenues were up 24% on the previous year from EUR 4.86bn to EUR 6.04, while EBIT margin rose from 9.1% to 11.1%. Vestas forecasts 2009 revenues to rise to EUR 7.2bn with EBIT in the range of 11-13%. The company's share price on the OMX Nordic C-20 index reflected a positive reaction to the figures, rising 8% during trading before falling back in response to later comments from Vestas CEO Ditlev Engel that attainment of 2009 goals would to some extent depend on the performance of the US economy.
Now those new models. Vestas has announced a new entrant to the 3 MW class with its V112* model, which on its website it describes as "a hard-working, reliable turbine designed for low and medium wind speed sites onshore anywhere around the world". With longer blades and a lower rotor speed, Vestas' strategy is clearly to take on the competition in the 3 MW segment with a lower noise machine that can be sited more locally. But it's a big machine – when equipped with its tallest tower option, the blade tips will reach the awesome height of 175 metres (574 feet).
Vestas' second new product is a 1.8 MW model, the V100. The large rotor in relation to power output indicates that this machine is targeted at the low wind segment in onshore locations. Vestas has not yet posted any product information about the V100-1.8 MW on its website, but in a news release accompanying the 2008 annual report the company says the two new models will be launched 'in the coming months' and that the first turbines will be ready for delivery in 2010.
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 V112 has a rotor diameter of 112 metres (367 feet) – Ed.