Vestas-Mitsubishi talks have offshore potential

Opportunity to move ahead with stalled 7MW plan

Discussion between the world’s leading wind turbine manufacturer, Vestas, and Japanese industrial giant, Mitsubishi, were announced earlier this week in accordance with Danish law. The talks are widely assumed to focus on the offshore turbine market.

Vestas has sought to develop a 7MW machine capable of winning orders from offshore wind developers, which have recently come to rely heavily on Siemens turbines.

But development of Vestas’ 7MW with 164m rotor design has stalled, as the Danish company has struggled with poor financial performance and turmoil within its senior management team. Last week, the company indicated that it does not expect to undertake a first prototype test until 2014.

Meanwhile, Mitsubishi has been looking for entry into the offshore wind market and has a Scottish-based team working on a large turbine design, the 7MW Sea Angel. An eventual offshore test of the Sea Angel has been linked to the test site planned for Aberdeen Bay.

Lack of experience in the wind energy market puts the Japanese firm at a disadvantage, but this could be overcome if the two companies join forces.

Vestas has let it be known that its discussions with Mitsubishi do not involve full-scale takeover, but rather a minority stake or some other form of collaboration.

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