Wind turbine designers have been working on bringing a 10 MW turbine to market for years. They're close. We've seen prototypes and know that it won't be very long before these next generation turbines are producing clean energy around the world.
Proof of that comes from a new world record for wind power generated by a single wind turbine in a 24-hour period. The new V164 9 MW turbine from Danish company MHI Vestas Offshore Wind produced an amazing 216,000 kWh on December 1, 2016. The turbine was installed at a testing site near Østerild, Denmark.
The 9 MW V164 turbine is a tweaked and upgraded version of the 8 MW V164 that was developed in 2012. The V164 has been the most powerful wind turbine to date, holding the previous wind energy generation record before its upgrade. It stands 722 feet high and has blades that are 263 feet long. This giant has a sweep area larger than the London Eye.
Why this constant push towards larger wind turbines? The larger the turbine, the larger the power output, which makes offshore wind farms exponentially more efficient and brings down the cost of installation, maintenance and electricity, too.
The V164 has a 25-year life span and 80 percent of the turbine can be recycled when its job is done. It can produce electricity at minimum wind speeds of 9 mph with the optimal wind speed being between 27 and 56 mph, conditions that are typical in the rough North Sea where the turbine is destined to reside.
The turbine has been selected for the 370 MW Norther offshore wind park off the coast of Zeebrugge, Belgium. The project will generate enough electricity to cover the energy needs of 400,000 Belgian households when it's completed in 2019.