Vestas: History,Wind Power Technology, and Major Projects – ( Solar Thermal Magazine)
During the 1970s, Denmark was the pioneer in developing commercial wind power. The 1973 and 1979 energy crises made the country turn to coal-fired electrical power plants. The accumulation of carbon dioxide made the country turn to renewable energy more shore wind power (both on shore and off shore). It is therefore not surprising that some of the best wind energy companies are situated there.
One of such companies is Vestas Wind Systems.
History and About Vestas
Vestas Wind Systems is the largest wind company in the world. It was founded in 1945 by Peder Hansen as West-Jutlandish Steel Technology. The company started as a house appliances manufacturing company but diversified to agricultural equipment in 1950. It proceeded to deal with intercoolers in 1956 and then hydraulic cranes in 1968.
The company penetrated the wind energy sector in 1979 and started dealing exclusively with wind energy in 1989. It underwent a merger with NEG Micon- a Danish wind turbine manufacturer.
The company had a workforce of over 17000 (as at 2013). The company operates manufacturing plants in the following countries: United Kingdom, United States, China, Spain, Sweden, Romania, Italy, India, Germany, and India.
Major Wind Energy Projects
In June 2014, Vestas Wind Systems signed an order for sixteen wind turbines to be sent to the San Antonio Wind Power Plant, Guatemala. The company notes that once the project is completed, it will become the first wind power project in the country. It will entail the supply, installation, and eventual commissioning of the wind turbines.
Vestas has also seen a great wind energy potential in the developing world.
In December 2014, Vestas announced that it has received an order to supply wind turbines for the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project- the largest wind power project in Africa. The project will position Kenya as a leading wind energy leader. The advantage in Turkana is that there are favorable conditions such as wind, availability of land (space), and favorable demographic factors such as a sparse population. All factors remaining constant, the project will be completed in 2017. It should be noted that Vestas has a big market in both Eastern and Southern Africa.
In January 2015, Terna Energy- an energy company in Greece ordered 73.2 megawatts worth of wind turbines from Vestas. The contract will be for the Agios Georgios wind power plant and will also include services in optimizing uptime as well as performance. It will utilize the massive Aegean sea wind resources in order to produce clean energy. Most likely, the project will be fully commissioned in the second quarter of 2016.
In May 2015, Vestas Wind Systems was awarded an energy contract to provide wind turbines for the Tres Mesas Wind energy projects located in Northeast Mexico. It will do this in collaboration with Oak Creek Energy Systems- a US based utility scale wind energy developer. Marcos Graziano- the president of Vestas Mediterranean- stated that the project will further promote the use of renewable energy in Mexico and also reduce the greenhouse emissions.
On 21 May 2015, Vestas Offshore Wind was appointed the preferred supplier of wind turbines for the offshore project in the UK. Vestas Offshore Wind is a joint venture between Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Vestas Offshore Wind.
The joint venture aims at exploiting the high potential provided by harnessing offshore wind power (a technology that is not uncommon in Denmark). It exported the same technology to the UK.
Companies that were bold enough to invest in renewable energy never went wrong. They had the facts right, they had the predictions right. Such investments will even be better in the future as the world regrets the use of fossil fuels. Vestas dared to invest in wind energy, and it is now one of the most vibrant and successful energy companies in the world.