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One of the world’s biggest turbines is being installed in Jutland, backed by local support

Owned by a wind turbine co-operative of 2,800 members, a 15 MW wind turbine from Vestas is currently being installed in the small port city of Thyborøn in Jutland, Denmark.
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Located in one of the most favourable areas for wind energy, where the shallow seas of Limfjorden meet the North Sea, one of the world’s largest wind turbines is currently being installed just south of the city of Thyborøn in Jutland, Denmark.

Led by a Danish wind turbine co-operative, Thyborøn Sydhavns Møllelaug, the preparation of securing a stable foundation is underway, with two enormous cranes set to arrive next week to support the installation of the giant V236-15.0 MW wind turbine from Vestas. According to plans, the assembly of the wind turbine is set to begin on March 10-12 with the nacelle arriving from Odense Port. According to the schedule, the turbine is set to be operational no later than May 1.

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One of the world’s largest wind turbines

The 15 MW wind turbine has a rotor diameter of 236 meters and a total tip height of 266 meters once installed, which makes it nearly as tall as the Eiffel Tower. Originally designed for the offshore wind market, Vestas’ new flagship named Blue Marlin has up until now only been installed as a prototype at the Danish national test centre in Østerild. The wind turbine being installed in Thyborøn is a so-called 0-series turbine meant to document and verify operational conditions. With a placement in a unique setting in the Port of Thyborøn close to the sea, the wind turbine will be more accessible for investigations and replacements of parts while at the same time delivering crucial operational data as part of the test and demonstration phase.

The Thyborøn wind turbine will mark the debut of the 15 MW turbine from Vestas, being the very first of its kind to be installed. The turbine will be connected to the electricity grid at a 60 KW transformer station in Thyborøn, that is just strong enough that the grid connection can be done without the need for grid reinforcements. The turbine is expected to supply just over 70 million kilowatt-hours annually to the Danish/European electricity market, which is enough to power 14,000 households. This makes the Thyborøn-based Vestas giant Denmark’s top performer onshore by a significant margin, and if all goes well, the production will be approximately double that of the current record holder for onshore wind turbines in Denmark, a 7 MW turbine.

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Respect for the local community and environment

The installation of the wind turbine in Thyborøn has largely been driven by local collaboration with the communities around Thyborøn. The co-operative in Thyborøn has successfully raised EUR 22.8 mio. (DKK 170 mio.), which has been distributed among 70,490 shares owned by 2,800 residents from western Jutland. All shares have been sold to individuals with a permanent address in Lemvig Municipality, with around one out every five citizens aged 18 and above having invested in the project. The municipality has set as a precondition for the realisation of the project that it must have complete local support given that many local residents will be living in close proximity to the giant turbine and thereby be able to visibly see the turbine in their surroundings on a daily basis.

The project has involved close dialogue with multiple stakeholders, e.g. the Danish Society for Nature Conservation regarding both old and new comprehensive impact assessment reports on birds and bats living close to the turbine site. Residents in the area have naturally also been involved through citizen meetings and ongoing information campaigns in local media. These efforts have resulted in zero official complaints during the process.

Also read: From NIMBY to PIMBY

Thyborøn: Long-standing traditions of community-owned wind turbines

1987: The idea of community-owned wind turbines in Thyborøn-Harboøre Municipality emerges. A group of local residents initiates the construction of four Vestas 90 kW wind turbines.

2002: The turbines are dismantled in connection with the installation of eight new wind turbines in Limfjorden. Four of the eight new turbines are 2 MW Vestas V80 wind turbines, and the shares in the turbines are sold locally in the Thyborøn-Harboøre Municipality.

2018: Four Siemens 7 MW test turbines are installed in Nissum Bredning near Thyborøn.

2021: A similar Siemens 7 MW test turbine is installed Thyborøn South Harbor. It is sold in shares to individuals in Lemvig Municipality, and the shares are so popular that they are oversubscribed by multiple times. The Danish energy utility Jysk Energi are project developers on all five Siemens turbines.

2022: Thyborøn South Harbor Wind Turbine Co-operative II I/S is established on February 15. Lemvig Municipality issues a building permit to erect a 217-meter tall 9.5 MW turbine from Vestas. During the process, Vestas inquired about the possibility of scaling up to a 15 MW turbine, positioned between one of the 7 MW turbines and the northwesternmost of the 2 MW turbines in Limfjorden.

2023: The City Council of Lemvig Municipality unanimously approves the 15 MW turbine project on October 11.

Source: Green Power Denmark

Read more about the project (in Danish)
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