Vestas to Make Custom Wind Turbines for China


Vestas wind turbine. Photo: Wikipedia, CC
The Wind is Always Greener Over There...
You'd think that by now wind turbines would become commoditized. After all, wind is wind, right? Well, apparently not. Vestas, the wind turbine maker from Denmark, is offering custom-made wind turbines to China. They say that they are specially adapted to "Mongolian wind". Read on for more details on how that works...
vestas wind turbine photo

Vestas wind turbine. Photo: Wikipedia, GFDL
Why is Vestas Doing Things Differently with its Wind Power in China?
From FT:

At its new plant in Hohhot [China] Vestas plans to make a smaller turbine with bigger blades, a machine tailored to the steady low to medium-strength winds that occur in Inner Mongolia. "This is the first time we have customised a product for any market," said [chief executive Ditlev] Engel.

That in itself is a good thing. These design changes can mean that more clean power is produced over the life of the turbine, so in areas that have wind patterns that are different enough from the norm, customizing the turbines can be worth the trouble (especially in a big market like China).

But that's not all:

The company also offers free transport of the 29m-long blades and massive turbine cell to the rugged locations, often without proper roads, where they are to be installed. "In Europe, wind towers can be built on arable, easily accessible land, but not in China," said Egon Hygom Poulsen, technology head of the team that developed the tailor-made turbine.

When you consider that China is installing new wind turbines at about 3x the pace of the rest of the world, and that last year it went from about 6,000 megawatts to 12,000 megawatts (compared to a 28% global wind-power growth in 2008), it's no surprise that Vestas is trying to keep market share there.

Via Financial Times, Wall Street Journal
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