MHI Vestas Offshore Wind launch new project to highlight offshore wind successes

MHI Vestas Offshore Wind (MVOW) has announced the launch of an exciting new project to celebrate the rapidly falling cost of electricity from offshore wind, advances in offshore wind technology, and their contribution to the UK economy.

MHI Vestas Offshore Wind (MVOW) has announced the launch of an exciting new project to celebrate the rapidly falling cost of electricity from offshore wind, advances in offshore wind technology, and their contribution to the UK economy.

To commemorate this industry success, MVOW has launched The Parliamentary Blades Project. The project will follow blade components from production, installation, and into operation. The blade components were signed by over 30 MPs, Peers and dignitaries from across the UK during a reception at the Houses of Parliament at the end of 2016 during Offshore Wind Week. The signed components will be split between two blades; one destined for Walney Extension Offshore Wind Farm in Morecambe Bay. The second will be one of the very first offshore wind turbine blades ever manufactured in the UK for export, it will form part of a Continental European offshore wind farm in Germany (Borkum Riffgrund 2 Offshore Wind Farm).

James Luter, Production Director at MVOW, highlighted the importance of the initiative: "This project marks a very exciting time for both MVOW and the UK offshore wind industry as our highly-skilled and dedicated team of men and women, that are at the vanguard of advanced manufacturing, work to ensure that offshore wind becomes the most competitive large-scale electricity generating technology. It is wonderful to be able to celebrate these advances with the support of MPs from across the UK through this project."

Hugh McNeal CEO of Renewable UK welcomes the project stating: "We congratulate MHI Vestas Offshore Wind on the Parliamentary Blades project. The UK offshore wind industry is world-leading, so it seems fitting that one of blades signed by British Parliamentarians will be turning in a project here, and one will be in an overseas project.

This project celebrates the skilled UK engineers that manufactured the components, highlights the industry's export potential, and brings politicians together with local communities to celebrate the power of the UK's offshore wind sector."

The initiative will also involve MPs from across the country engaging with young people from their constituencies by inviting local schools to take part in a 'Brand the Blades' competition to name and design the logo of The Parliamentary Blades. The winning schools will win a bespoke STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) workshop from representatives of MVOW's Isle of Wight manufacturing team and offshore wind farm service and maintenance team. The winning schools will also have the use of Oculus Rift virtual reality technology at their school to get as realistic as possible understanding of these giant, world record breaking offshore machines.

Andrew Turner, MP for the Isle of Wight, attended a ceremony at MVOW's Island facility to mark the official handover of components for The Parliamentary Blades and to congratulate the production team. Andrew said: "This is a wonderful project that highlights the skills and expertise we have here on the Isle of Wight. We have many high-value engineering firms that are competing successfully on the world stage. MVOW has invested significantly in their facility here and employs over 300 people on the Island. I am pleased to be able to support The Parliamentary Blades Project and look forward to following its progress to its installation."

MVOW, based on the Isle of Wight, produces blades that form part of the innovative V164-8MW wind turbine, the most powerful wind turbine in the world. The 80m blades for the V164-8.0MW offshore wind turbine were designed, tested, and have been serially manufactured on the Isle of Wight since May 2015. The V164-8.0MW produces enough electricity in a single rotation from one individual turbine to power an average UK household for 29 hours (13,3 KWh). MVOW's contribution of market leading technology in the form of the V164-8.0MW, robust competition in the turbine supply market, and sustained investment in UK advanced manufacturing and supply chain is driving a significant proportion of the accelerated reduction in LCOE now being delivered by offshore wind in the UK and Continental Europe.

For more information about MVOW, please visit: www.mhivestasoffshore.com