The Straits Times: Wind energy giant flies high here

The Straits Times yesterday published this article on the launch of Vestas’ business hub at the Mapletree Business Centre.

Wind energy giant flies high here

Vestas opens hub for all units at energy-efficient Mapletree Business City in Pasir Panjang

THE possibility of rows of wind turbines on Singapore’s coast, rotating with the breeze while powering the city-state, need not be just a fancy idea blowing in the wind.

Singapore’s wind speeds are too weak to be converted to commercial wind energy but this could change as turbines get more efficient and are able to pick up wind energy at lower speeds, said Danish wind energy giant Vestas Wind System’s president of Asia Pacific, Mr Sean Sutton.

The lack of wind, however, has not stopped Vestas from expanding here. The firm, which set up in Singapore in 2006 with 20 employees, yesterday launched a hub at the new, energy-efficient Mapletree Business City in Pasir Panjang.

It was also Global Wind Day yesterday.

Vestas will house all its units – like research and development, and regional headquarters for sales and operations – on one floor at the business park.

Mr Sutton noted that Vestas here has grown into a busy firm employing more than 200 staff.

It is flying high on the booming wind-energy sector in Asia. Last year alone, it installed more than 1,000 megawatts (MWs) of wind energy capacity in Taiwan, India, the Philippines, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

Asia makes up 22 per cent of revenue – a figure that is set to increase further, he said.

‘In many countries in Asia, wind energy is becoming as cheap as power generated from fossil fuels. In the past, we used to install small 10MW wind farms. Now, it’s in the region of 400MW or more,’ he added.

Singapore’s location serves the firm well because of its proximity to Asian markets and strong financial services and talent pool with qualified engineers.

Vestas recently signed an agreement with Nanyang Technological University to establish a Joint Materials Lab within the School of Materials Science and Engineering.

Vestas Asia Pacific managing director for technology R&D Peter Cheng said yesterday that both parties will collaborate on research into how composite materials used in aircraft can be best deployed in wind technology.

The R&D team at Vestas is also looking into the idea of wind power as a support system for power plants, and how weather forecasting can help wind-power operations, he added.

Image taken from Vestas

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