Vattenfall deployed the first of two Vestas 8.8-megawatt wind turbines at its European testing center.

Swedish energy giant Vattenfall announced Tuesday that it successfully installed an 8.8-megawatt capacity offshore wind turbine from Vestas at the European Offshore Wind Deployment Center (EOWDC) off the coast of Scotland.

It’s the first of 11 turbines planned for the project and the first deployment of a model of that size for commercial use. Vattenfall will also install another 8.8-megawatt model from Vestas at the site.

It’s an important milestone for a project that faced years of legal challenges from Donald Trump. Before becoming president, Trump battled the project because it conflicted with a planned golf course development in the area. At the time, his organization said it “will completely destroy the bucolic Aberdeen Bay.” The U.K.’s Supreme Court struck down Trump’s challenge in 2015.

Now, Vattenfall will use the site to test the high-capacity turbines. For the two 8.8-megawatt turbines, enhanced internal power modes bumped capacity up from 8.4 megawatts on MHI Vestas’ flagship V164 turbine platform.

Søren Lassen, a business analyst at MAKE Consulting, said the uprating trend is noteworthy, but the 0.4 megawatt increase is not revolutionary. He noted that MHI Vestas already has orders for a 9.5-megawatt version of its V164 platform turbine launched in June.

“The trend of uprating is symptomatic of the offshore wind market in Europe, as developers push to take advantage of the favorable wind resources,” said Lassen. “Turbine [manufacturers] will continue to boost the rating of their current offshore platforms into the early 2020s.”

According to EOWDC Project Director at Vattenfall, Adam Ezzamel, “just one rotation of the blades can power the average U.K. home for a day.”


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