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ABB To Deliver 90 Transformers To MHI Vestas’ Offshore Wind Farm In The UK

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One million UK homes to be powered with clean energy by the 860-megawatt wind farm

ABB's Power Grids business has been selected by MHI Vestas Offshore Wind, a leading global wind turbine manufacturer, to deliver its WindSTAR transformers to the Triton Knoll offshore wind farm, located 33 kilometers off the east coast of England, which will power up to one million homes.

ABB's high-performance WindSTAR power transformers are designed to fit inside the wind turbine and can withstand strong vibrations, sudden movements and variable electrical loading, typical of wind power. This lightweight transformer is energy efficient and made with biodegradable and safe ester insulation fluid.

MHI Vestas will deliver 90 wind turbines for the wind farm and ABB's WindSTAR transformers will be installed in each turbine. A joint venture between Vestas Wind Systems A/S and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd, MHI Vestas' mission is to develop offshore wind as an economically viable and sustainable energy resource to benefit future generations.

“Our partnership with MHI Vestas is yet another important step towards a cleaner energy system that will significantly benefit local communities,” said Bruno Melles, Managing Director for Transformers in ABB's Power Grids business. “ABB is committed to pioneering technologies that competitively and efficiently integrate renewable energy - enabling a stronger, smarter and greener grid.”

“As one of the leading global wind turbine manufacturers, the transformers we use in our offshore wind turbines are some of the most valuable and critical components that we purchase,” said Robert Slettenhaar, VP Head of Procurement at MHI Vestas Offshore Wind. “Maintenance at sea is extremely challenging, so the transformers have to be as reliable as possible, as well as light-weight and compact. For Triton Knoll, we have selected ABB as a supplier and have worked together to develop the WindSTAR transformers to meet our demand for high quality and performance.”

The rapid rise of global offshore wind capacity

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), global offshore wind capacity may increase 15-fold and attract around $1 trillion of cumulative investment by 2040. This is driven by increased competitiveness, supportive government policies and some remarkable technological progress.

Optimizing energy efficiency with ABB's WindSTAR transformers

ABB's WindSTAR transformers support energy efficiency by increasing the voltage to 66 kilovolts (kV), the highest voltage category for wind transformers. This higher voltage enables larger, more powerful wind turbines resulting in lower electricity losses and a more cost-effective wind farm.

These high-performance transformers helped to enable the world's first 66 kV offshore wind farm, together with MHI Vestas Offshore Wind. The Blyth Offshore Demonstrator (BOD) is a 41.5 megawatt, five-turbine wind farm, located off the coast of Blyth in Northumberland, UK.

ABB has recently won three more orders for similar WindSTAR transformers for important offshore wind projects by MHI Vestas Offshore Wind: Moray East, Scotland; Borssele 3 & 4 windfarms, the Netherlands; and Windfloat Atlantic in Portugal. The latter is a floating, offshore wind project, comprising the world's largest and most powerful wind turbines ever installed on a floating foundation.

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