THE giant 80-metre blades being made by Vestas at Newport are destined for the most powerful wind turbine on earth, it has been revealed.
Three blades will soon join one already shipped from Vestas Technologies’ research and development facility for the national testing facility in Denmark, expected to generate its first electricity early next year.
The length of each is equivalent to nine double decker buses and the sweep is bigger than the London Eye. The new generation is designed to be more efficient and cheaper.
The scale and the potential importance to the offshore wind turbine industry and the IW was detailed by Vestas Technologies’ managing director, Rob Sauven.
At Ryde School speech day, Mr Sauven highlighted the part played by the Newport blade design team over five years to reach prototype stage.
He told the audience it was an example of Island technology teamwork and followed the decision to make 500 "great technicians" redundant after the collapse of the US market.
Mr Sauven paid tribute to the support of Vestas’s parent company, the government and the local authority in raising the £50 million needed for the banks of the River Medina research and development centre, which produced the 80-metre blade.
The R&D facility, more than four times the size of the original factory, allowed his company to attract a top multi-national team, he said.
"We hope to fill the seas of the world with these turbines and play a small part in giving the next generation a cleaner legacy," he said.
Vestas recently recruited 40 new staff to re-start limited blade production.