New test hall for wind turbine blades at the port commissioned

New test hall for wind turbine blades at the port commissioned

Blade Test Centre A/S, BLAEST, has commissioned its new testing hall at the East Port during the summer. The 5,000-square-metre test hall nearly doubles BLAEST’s total capacity and at present shall primarily form the framework for the testing of wind turbine blades for the Danish wind turbine giant Vestas Wind Systems A/S, with which BLAEST has signed a long-term agreement.

The port area in Aalborg has in recent years evolved into a central hub for the international wind industry. Today, the area is home to the world’s largest concentration of blade testing facilities, a leading position that is set to strengthen further now that the test centre BLAEST has commissioned its brand new 5,000-square-metre spacious test hall.

The new test hall is generally the result of an increasing demand for wind turbine blade testing, due to a greater focus on wind energy, and specifically BLAEST signing a long-term agreement for the testing of wind turbine blades with Vestas Wind Systems A/S in May 2019.

– The development of new and more efficient wind turbine blades which can help to reduce the price of generated electricity has advanced dramatically this year. Should we continue our growth, we require the necessary capacity to keep pace. The new hall affords us an extraordinary opportunity to consolidate our position as a leading global independent test centre for full-scale structural testing of wind turbine blades, and we are delighted to commission the new facilities, says Erik Steen Jensen, CEO of BLAEST.

With the new test hall BLAEST has almost doubled its existing test capacity. Currently, the company is in the process of testing the first Vestas blade, which after an initial static test over the coming months will be subjected to accelerated fatigue testing to simulate the dynamic load that the blade will encounter throughout the course of its lifetime.

Leading position in wind testing shall create jobs

Port of Aalborg owns the new test hall as well as BLAEST´s existing test facilities, while BLAEST owns and has established all the test stands and testing equipment. The two parties have entered into a long-term collaboration, which according to Port of Aalborg’s CEO Claus Holstein is an essential part of a strategy to maintain and strengthen the East Port’s position as the centre for the global testing of wind turbine blades:

– It is a key part of our strategy to help to create the world’s leading environments for testing and 0-series production in Aalborg, especially in industries working on solutions for green transition and renewable energy, exemplified perfectly by our cooperation with BLAEST. With companies like BLAEST, Siemens Gamesa and Bladt as well as one of the largest research institutions within wind in the form of Aalborg University, Aalborg is now a key player in the global wind energy industry. We very much believe that by virtue of this position, we can help to create further growth and attract new businesses to Aalborg, which will result in more jobs, explains Claus Holstein.

The establishment of BLAEST’s new testing hall has already resulted in BLAEST going from 20 to over 30 employees. Due to coronavirus, the inauguration of the new test hall has been postponed. The hall is expected to be inaugurated at the start of 2021.

Facts: The new test hall

  • 30 metres high with an area of 5,000 square metres
  • Nearly doubles BLAEST’s testing capacity
  • Equipped with three modern test rigs
  • Solar panels on the roof of the building, providing green electricity to the test equipment, all of which is electrically powered