World’s Biggest Wind Turbine Now In Testing Phase

Last week, Danish technology firm Vestas debuted the world’s largest wind turbine. The turbine, a prototype called the V164-8.0-MW, has a capacity of 8MW, beating out the previous champion wind turbine by 0.5 MW.

The turbine is designed for offshore use, but is currently being tested in an onshore capacity. It’s dimensions are truly staggering: the tower is 140m (448 ft) tall, with 80m (256 ft) blades. The swept area by the blades is 21,000 m2 (226,000 ft2), equivalent to about four football fields in size.

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The announcement from Vestas comes as it seeks to regain the top position amongst wind manufacturers in the world. It previously had been the preeminent global turbine manufacturer, but GE knocked it off its throne in 2012. The turbine was created in a joint venture with Mitsubishi Heavy Enterprise, who invested a whopping 100 million euros ($135 million) into its creation and manufacture. As a result of this, other partnerships, and internal cost-cutting, Vestas was able to return to profitability in 2013, for the first time in two years.

Video of the new turbine can be seen here, courtesy of Bloomberg News.