Just a short drive away from Thisted, a small town in the Northernmost part of Denmark, is Østerild, a wind turbine test site that is home to some of the biggest names in the industry.

On a press visit to the test centre, on the margins of WindEurope’s 2023 annual event in Copenhagen, Denmark, in late April, site manager Allan Vesth told Energy Monitor how its activities quickly converted scepticism to acceptance and pride among local residents: “Everyone, especially nowadays, knows that we need more green energy, and these good turbines don’t come just out of nothing. They need to be tested [and] developed and that makes it easier [for locals] to accept and live with such a test station nearby.”

Vesth has been impressed by the collaboration between two major turbine manufacturers, Vestas and Siemens, at the site. He recounts an incident where both companies had to transport three blades to the site. They decided to pair blades of different makes together to transport two blades at a time, halving the number of journeys from six to three. This collaborative effort not only minimised the disruption caused to the local community but also improved the efficiency of the transportation process.

In short, competing companies are working in the same space and testing potentially profitable prototypes near one another at Østerild. “We have house rules,” said Vesth in response to a question about competition. “You can look and work outside the turbines; inside the turbines is secret.”

The Østerild wind turbine test centre is currently home to the Vestas 15MW turbine which, when launched, will be the largest wind turbine model in the world.

Editor’s note: Energy Monitor was WindEurope’s official Intelligence Partner for its 2023 annual event in Copenhagen. Our in-house data journalism team produced a “Number of the Day” that went out to all 13,000 delegates on each day of the conference and our reporter Nour Ghantous led several short video interviews with key wind industry leaders and innovators.

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