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MHI Vestas doubts larger offshore wind turbines

The turbine manufacturer's departing CEO questions the business model for the much larger turbines that many developers are depending on to construct zero-subsidy wind. A new platform would require massive investments throughout the value chain, he points out.

Photo: Rampion Offshore Wind Farm

The countdown has now begun for Jens Tommerup. Last week, MHI Vestas announced that the the CEO was being replaced, in accordance with the schedule set out in the 2014 foundation of the joint venture. MHI has selected the new CEO, Philippe Kavafyan, who will take office when the company officially turns four on April 1.

As CEO, Tommerup mostly saw numbers rise. A few months before establishing MHI Vestas, the V164 offshore wind turbine with capacity of 7 MW – unheard of capacity at the time – was installed as a test turbine at the test center in Østerild, Denmark. It was nominated to replace the 3 MW turbine which was the dominant offshore machine at the time. But before the 164 even reached the market, it had already grown to 8 MW. Since, the turbine has grown to 8.5 MW, then 9 MW and most recently 9.5 MW in June.

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