World’s largest wind turbine, to be tested by Clemson, wins engineering award

MHI Vestas V164 9.5 megawatt wind turbine.
Image Credit: MHI Vestas

NORTH CHARLESTON — MHI Vestas recently was awarded the Silver Medal in the category of renewable energy at the prestigious Edison Awards for its 9.5 megawatt offshore wind turbine, which it will test at Clemson University’s wind turbine-testing facility at the SCE&G Energy Innovation Center in the former naval shipyard.

“To be a partner with MHI Vestas, testing their award-winning 9.5 megawatt wind turbine that is recognized by national experts in science, technology, design and engineering, is something we at Clemson are very proud of,” said Randy Collins, Clemson’s associate vice president, Office of Academic Affairs, Charleston. “We’re really looking forward to further discovery through our support of and in partnership with MHI Vestas.”

Now in their 21st year of existence, the Edison Awards recognize and honor some of the most innovative new products, services and business leaders in the world.

The awards are named after Thomas Edison and are meant to symbolize and honor the persistence and excellence personified by him while also strengthening the human drive for innovation, creativity and ingenuity. Previous winners include General Electric, Tesla Motor Company and Apple.

Earlier this year, MHI Vestas agreed to test and verify its V164 9.5 megawatt (MW) turbine — the world’s largest — at the SCE&G Energy Innovation Center. There, in the university’s state-of-the-art 15MW test bench, the 9.5MW gearbox will be put through the paces to gain a better understanding of how the gearbox and bearings will react over the course of a 20-plus year lifecycle.

“The dramatic cost reduction in offshore wind is the result of many critical factors coming together, not the least of which is boundary-pushing technology inside the turbine,” said Søren Thomsen, senior specialist, drive train engineering for MHI Vestas. “Our recent Edison innovation award affirms the leading position of the V164 platform and is a tribute to all of the men and women who brought it to life, so we’re exceptionally pleased to bring the V164 to the U.S. for testing in partnership with Clemson University. Their unparalleled 15 megawatt test facility will ensure that MHI Vestas turbine technology will produce clean energy safely and reliably for our customers for years to come.”

The deal with Clemson University marks MHI Vestas Offshore Wind’s first major investment in the United States, catapulting the U.S. into a leadership position in offshore wind as the country will be testing the world’s most powerful wind turbine.