Leading global wind turbine manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems has invested in Swedish wood technology company Modvion. The intention is to accelerate market adoption and scale-up the production of wooden wind turbine towers. Vestas is interested in using the wooden towers in its product line as part of a more sustainable product offering for customers.
Courtesy of Modvion
“Our collaboration with Modvion holds significant potential to help accelerate the energy transition and increase Vestas’ sustainability performance. The reduced weight of Modvion’s towers, in combination with their ability to align with Vestas’ modular product architecture, could allow for increased ease of transportation in logistically challenged markets. Furthermore, the tower design could allow for Vestas to increase turbine hub heights, contributing to a reduction in cost of energy. Overall, there is potential to become less reliant on steel prices, which would support Vestas’ ongoing growth journey,” said Bo Svoldgaard, Senior Vice President and Head of Innovation and Concepts at Vestas.
In November 2020, Vestas launched Vestas Ventures, as a corporate venture capital arm, with a vision to accelerate the deployment of sustainable energy, the electrification of societies and unlock new growth opportunities through relevant investment programs. Vestas Ventures invests in startup companies with the aim to challenge industry standards and accelerate Vestas’ journey towards becoming the global leader in sustainable energy solutions. Vestas has previously invested in Northvolt, but this marks the first official investment from Vestas Ventures.
Modvion’s wooden towers, which by weight are stronger than steel, radically reduce emissions from manufacturing wind power towers. Modvion’s modular tower design also enables higher towers at a lower cost.
“We are excited to have Vestas onboard and for the chance to support the world’s leading wind turbine manufacturer in reaching its ambitious sustainability targets. To tackle the climate crisis, we need more renewable energy and increased use of sustainable, wooden constructions, and Modvion's technology enables both,“ said Otto Lundman, CEO of Modvion AB.
In connection to the investment, Vestas has expressed interest in exploring the use of Modvion’s technology in its product line as part of its efforts to support customers in delivering more sustainable energy solutions. Vestas’ investment will support Modvion’s rapid production scale-up, with a long-term goal of integrating wooden towers in Vestas’ offerings to accelerate market adoption. Modvion will shortly start commercial production while simultaneously planning for its first volume production unit.
Facts on wooden wind turbine towers:
• Wooden towers are built in modules and assembled on site.
• The modular concept together with the lower weight of wood, enables higher towers to be built while still using normal roads for transportation.
• By weight, the wooden construction is stronger than steel.
• The carbon dioxide absorbed by the trees during their growth period remains stored in the wooden tower, facilitating climate neutral wind energy.
• In April 2020, Modvion erected the first wooden tower on Björkö outside Gothenburg, which is 30 metres tall. In 2022, the first commercial tower will be built.