Vestas ships largest single vessel blade shipment from Italy to Washington, USA


Chante Condit-Pottol
Communication Specialist at Vestas
Published on 8th of July 2019

Last week, Vestas received the company’s largest-ever single shipment of blades -198 x V100-2.0 MW blades - at the Port of Vancouver in Washington, USA. The blades, manufactured at Vestas’ Taranto, Italy factory, are bound for the Marengo wind project in eastern Washington, where they will be used to repower the site’s existing V80-1.8 MW blades, ultimately increasing the project’s output by 35%.

The vessel was greeted by representatives of PacifiCorp -the project owners - Vestas, and the Port of Vancouver, to commemorate the significance of the milestone shipment. Vestas employees from the Portland headquarters spent the afternoon touring the Port and seeing the blades arrival up close.

The blades will make the final 285-mile leg of their journey to site by truck, with final commissioning scheduled for the end of the year.  Nacelles and towers manufactured at Vestas’ factories in Colorado will join by rail and truck.

 “With our North American headquarters based in Portland, it is especially gratifying to be part of bringing the environmental and economic benefits of wind energy to the Pacific Northwest,” said Vestas North America President Chris Brown. “As wind technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, Vestas is able to use our technology expertise, operational insights, and unparalleled global supply chain to deliver repowering benefits for customers across a variety of turbine types.”

Repowering existing projects like Marengo, originally commissioned in 2007, with newer technology, increases not only the output of the project but also the economic impact as the project life is extended and operating costs improve. The Marengo Wind facility currently generates 210 MW, enough renewable energy to power 53,000 average Northwest residences annually. After this update to the blades and technology, the output will increase by more than 35 percent, generating enough wind energy to power 72,000 Northwest homes.

 “We’re excited to bring this upgrade to the Marengo Wind Project near Dayton, a town that’s helping to grow clean, renewable energy right here in our region,” said Tim Hemstreet, Managing Director for Renewable Energy at PacifiCorp. “By using the latest technology to repower these existing wind turbines, we’re able to deliver to our customers a boost of clean, wind energy while keeping energy costs low.”  

A second shipment with the final 153 blades is due to arrive later this summer.

The $200 million upgrade for the Marengo Wind facility is part of PacifiCorp’s broader $3 billion “Energy Vision 2020” plan to bring new wind online and to repower existing turbines with new blades and technology to increase their output. 

Vestas is repowering another Washington based project for PacifiCorp, the Goodnoe Hills project, originally commissioned in 2008.  At Goodnoe Hills, Vestas will install V110-2.0 MW turbines, delivered in 2.2 MW Power Optimised Mode, to repower the projects’ existing 47 Senvion MM92 2MW turbines, increasing the project’s nameplate capacity from its original 94 MW to 103 MW.

With an average fleet age projected to rise to seven years in 2020, and 14 years in 2030, the aging North American wind fleet creates a large market for repowering. Repowering offers solutions for asset owners facing higher operation and maintenance costs of an aging fleet and mitigates the complexities of sourcing spare parts for obsolete technology.