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Vestas Ventures invests in Modvion

Vestas Ventures, the recently formed corporate venture capital arm of Danish wind power technology major Vestas Wind Systems A/S (Vestas) has announced that it is investing in Modvion AB, a Swedish wood technology company that is developing wood-based wind turbine towers. The intention is to accelerate market adoption and scale-up the production of wooden wind turbine towers.

Vestas Ventures, the recently formed corporate venture capital arm of Danish wind power technology major Vestas Wind Systems A/S (Vestas) has announced that it is investing in Modvion AB, a Swedish wood technology company that is developing wood-based wind turbine towers (photo courtesy Modvion).

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 battery producer Northvolt, but this investment in Modvion, the value of which has not been disclosed, marks the first official investment from Vestas Ventures and sees Vestas becoming a minority investor

Reduce costs and value-chain emissions

Vestas is interested in using the wooden towers in its product line as part of a more sustainable product offering for customers. By using engineered wood materials such as glue-laminated wood (glulam) or laminated veneer lumber (LVL) Modvion’s wooden towers, are stronger than steel by weight, radically reduce emissions from manufacturing wind power towers, while the modular design also enables higher towers at a lower cost.

Vestas Ventures was established to nurture innovation that can help accelerate the energy transition, and our collaboration with Modvion has the potential to support this journey. The modular nature of Modvion’s design approach and the possibilities for increased hub heights could contribute to a reduction in the cost of energy for Vestas customers, along with increased ease of transportation in logistically challenged markets. Introducing an LVL tower variant could lead Vestas to become less reliant on steel prices, supporting our ongoing growth journey, said Bo Svoldgaard, SVP and Head of Innovation and Concepts at Vestas.

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 and as part of the company’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions across its supply chain by 45 percent per MWh delivered to the market by 2030.

According to Vestas, when compared directly with the value chain of a conventional steel tower, Modvion towers are expected to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent for the wind turbine tower.

At Vestas, our vision is to spearhead the sustainable growth of the renewables industry and elevate the industry standard around sustainability performance. Cultivating cutting-edge technologies, such as Modvion’s LVL towers, can pave the way for building scale sustainably, particularly as the towers can integrate with our modularisation strategy. Evaluating our supplier network against our sustainability ambitions, which include reducing carbon emissions from our supply chain, is also an integral part of fulfilling our vision. Our collaboration with Modvion signals a strong benchmark for the way we intend to nurture supplier relationships going forward, said Lisa Ekstrand, Senior Director and Head of Sustainability at Vestas.

Support production scale-up

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.

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.

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