Energy Business

Wind Turbine Maker Vestas Plans Solar, Storage Businesses

Denmark-based Vestas Wind Systems A/S plans to add solar power and energy storage products to its world-leading wind turbine business to give the firm a hybrid renewable energy system that can generate and sell electricity 24 hours a day.

The company’s installed base of wind turbines accounts for more than one-sixth of the global installed base and generates in excess of 84,000 megawatts (MW). Total global wind-generation capacity was 486,000 MW at the end of 2016, according to the Vestas website.

But the company’s CEO, Anders Runevad, told Bloomberg News in a phone interview that the company is about to change:

We broaden the scope to sustainable energy. We see a fairly rapid increase in interest, people asking for hybrid is growing. That’s definitely in itself a new revenue stream to tap into.

Runevad estimated the global market for hybrid systems in 2018 will be about 2,000 MW, a small fraction of the 11,200 MW of wind turbines that Vestas installed last year.

In its annual report for 2017, Vestas spelled out what it believes is happening in the wind energy market:

Vestas envisions market conditions which in the long term will reflect wind power having achieved merchant levels in the vast majority of markets. The wind industry is undergoing a transition towards a more mature, unsubsidised renewable energy industry. This transition leads to a highly competitive market, and will likely drive a further consolidation in the industry. Beyond the transition, a matured market for wind energy creates opportunities for Vestas to leverage and strengthen its leadership position.

Vestas has no plans to manufacture the solar cells, modules or panels that generate electricity, nor to build its own batteries. The company wants to market hybrid projects that incorporate wind, solar and battery elements into single offer.

The firm is currently working on its first hybrid project with U.S. car and battery maker Tesla. The project is being built in Australia along with WindLab. Competitors Siemens Gamesa, Suzlon and Goldwind are also working on hybrid renewable projects.