Jan. 5, 2001—Vestas-Scandinavian Wind Technology A/S, which is 100% owned by Vestas Wind Systems A/S, said January 2 that it has been notified that Danish utility Elsam A/S will “initiate concluding negotiations with the company concerning the supply of wind turbines for installation at Horns Rev.”

The offshore project at Horns Rev (Reef), which is planned for installation during the summer of 2002, will be the world’s largest offshore wind power plant so far with a capacity of 160 MW.

The turbine type to be used is Vestas’s V80 2-MW unit and the expected order, the company said, will have a value of around DKK 1 billion (U.S. $130 million) inclusive of services. Before signing the final contract, a number of planning issues will be discussed and permissions required from authorities.

“We are very pleased with the information that Elsam A/S has elected Vestas as supplier,” says Karl Gustav Nielsen, Managing Director of Vestas-Scandinavian Wind Technology A/S, and he adds: “We consider this to be reflecting that Vestas, with the V80 2-MW turbine, has been able to comply with the specifications—technical as well as financial—which Elsam A/S sets for a large offshore project.”

The wind power plant at Horns Rev in the North Sea will be the first of five large offshore projects which the Danish utilities have been directed to build before 2008. “We are enthusiastic about Vestas getting the opportunity to participate in the building of the first offshore project in the North Sea,” said Vestas Wind Systems A/S managing director Johannes Poulsen.

“We consider it to be a very prestigious project, which no doubt will provide us with a lot of valuable experience. We look forward to an interesting co-operation with Elsam A/S concerning the project.”

The Danish government has ordered construction of the offshore wind plants as a comprehensive large-scale demonstration program for offshore wind. Each plant is to be approximately 150 MW in size, and the goal of the program is to investigate the technical, financial, and environmental aspects of offshore wind.

The five facilities together will generate nearly 8% of Denmark’s electricity requirements, and reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, the most important greenhouse gas, by up to 2.1 million metric tons annually.

Denmark’s long-term goal is to install 5,500 MW of additional wind energy capacity by the year 2030, with the majority being offshore. If the goal is achieved, the new wind capacity would supply roughly half the country’s electricity.

Other countries bordering the North Sea also have plans for offshore wind. Belgium, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, and Sweden are all moving forward with schemes of various sizes for offshore development.