Wood is good ... even better for wind turbines

Wednesday 24 Feb 2021

Swedes and Danes combine for more LVL wind turbine towers - This week, Vestas* (a Danish wind turbine leader) it had invested in a Swedish wooden wind turbine tower manufacturer. The Danish turbine maker said it had become a minority investor in Modvion, which uses laminated veneer lumber, or LVL, to make turbine towers that are modular and put together on-site.

“When compared directly with the value chain of a conventional steel tower, Modvion towers are expected to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent for the wind turbine tower,” Vestas said in a statement.

In a separate announcement, Modvion explained the idea behind the deal was to “accelerate market adoption and scale-up the production of wooden wind turbine towers.”

In April, Modvion installed a 30-meter tower on an island near the Swedish city of Gothenburg, and the company plans to build its first commercial tower in 2022.

“The reduced weight of Modvion’s towers, in combination with their ability to align with Vestas’ modular product architecture, could allow for increased ease of transportation in logistically challenged markets,” said Bo Svoldgaard, Vestas’ Innovation leader.

“Furthermore, the tower design could allow for Vestas to increase turbine hub heights, contributing to a reduction in cost of energy,” Svoldgaard added. “Overall, there is potential to become less reliant on steel prices, which would support Vestas’ ongoing growth journey.”

As technology develops, the size of wind turbines is increasing. Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy is working on a 14-megawatt turbine which can also be boosted to 15 MW if required, while GE Renewable Energy’s Haliade-X can be configured to 12, 13 or 14 MW.

* Vestas is a Danish company with 29,000 employees that designs, manufactures, install, and services wind turbines across the globe. They have installed more than 132 GW of wind turbines in 83 countries.

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