An offshore windfarm that is the first in the world to commercially deploy 8 MW turbines is now operational in the UK. 

Dong Energy’s 258 MW Burbo Bank Extension, located 7 km off the UK’s west coast, features 32 MHI Vestas V164-8.0 MW turbines.

The turbines stand 195 metres tall, with 80-metre blades weighing 35 tonnes each and a swept area of 21,124 square metres. According to Dong, one rotation can power a home for 29 hours.

“Just one of these wind turbines produces more energy than the whole of Vindeby, the world’s first offshore windfarm constructed by Dong Energy 25 years ago in Denmark,” the company said. The 4.95 MW, 11-turbine Vindeby windfarm came online in 1991 and is now being decommissioned.  

Burbo Bank Extension is a joint venture between Dong, which holds a 50 per cent stake in the project; investment fund PKA (25 per cent), and KIRKBI A/S, the parent company of the Lego Group (25 per cent).

Dong chief executive Henrik Poulsen said the windfarm “showcases the rapid innovation in the offshore wind industry”.

“Less than 10 years ago at Burbo Bank, we were the first to install Siemens 3.6 MW wind turbines and in this short time, the wind turbines have more than doubled in capacity.”   

The original 90 MW Burbo Bank windfarm, which came online in 2007, was the first project to use the Siemens 3.6 MW turbines commercially. It features 25 turbines.

Dong also pointed to the Extension’s benefits for the UK wind supply chain, saying it was the first use of blades manufactured in the UK. The orders for the transition pieces also marked a first for UK manufacturer Offshore Structures Britain.

Other manufacturers developing 8 MW turbines include Adwen (owned by Spanish OEM Gamesa) and Siemens, which has upgraded its 7 MW turbine to 8 MW and is now in the testing stage. The next-biggest turbine is a 7.5 MW model from germany’s Enercon.