Photo: Joachim Ladefoged

Østerild has become a tourist magnet

Wednesday 11 Feb 15
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Contact

Peter Hjuler Jensen
Deputy Head of DTU Wind Energy
DTU Wind Energy
+4546 77 50 37

About the test centre

  • The National Test Centre for Large Wind Turbines is located in Østerild, Thy, and run by DTU Wind Energy.
  • The centre was officially opened in October 2012.     
  • The areas comprises a total of seven test sites. All are leased out, three of them to DTU,and two each to Siemens and Vestas.     
  • The tallest turbine reaches a height of 222 metres above ground level.  
  • The test centre is to help Denmark maintain its leading position in the field of wind energy.
As the test centre in Thy is attracting a lot of tourists, a visitors’ centre is now to be built on the site.

By Lotte Krull and Caroline Jacobsen

Since the national test centre for wind turbines was opened in Østerild in autumn 2012, the area has become an authentic tourist magnet. The beautiful stretch of countryside to the north of the Limfjord now features three huge wind turbines—the tallest of which is Vestas’ 8 Megawatt giant, which measures fully 222 metres from ground level to blade tip in its highest position. The site will soon be home to a fourth turbine as well.

DTU Wind Energy, the department that runs the test centre, has noticed increasing interest in visiting the area, which is open to the general public:

“A lot of visitors travel to the site on both weekdays and weekends, and it is clear that they find the giant turbines fascinating. It is also exciting that we in Denmark have a test area dotted with giant structures that are almost as tall as the pylons supporting the Great Belt Bridge. That probably explains why Østerild has become a real tourist attraction,” relates Peter Hjuler Jensen, Deputy Head of Department at DTU Wind Energy.

Test centre a big hit
Henning Holm—President of VisitThy, the tourist association in Thy—confirms the trend, and explains that the site is particularly popular in the summer months.

“Since the turbines were erected, the area has attracted a lot of visitors. The tourist association regularly runs tour buses to the site in the summer months, and the services are fully booked. Visitors are very curious and clearly fascinated by both the scope of the engineering achievement and the sheer beauty of the surroundings,” he says.

"The tourist association regularly runs tour buses to the site in the summer months, and the services are fully booked."
Henning Holm, President of VisitThy.

Photo: Joachim Ladefoged 

The Thy office of the Danish Nature Agency has also noted the great interest in the area:

“The test centre has become a real hit. Lots and lots of people want to see the tall turbines, which appeal to everyone from ‘young bucks’ to grandparents and families with children. It’s actually amazing that so many people find them fascinating,” says Henrik Christensen, a dune forester for the Danish Nature Agency in Thy, who works at the centre.

Article in DTUavisen no. 2, February 2015.

Building a visitors’ centre

A 300 m2 building is to be constructed in 2015 to house a new visitors’ centre. The objective of the centre will be to communicate information about wind turbines and wind energy, with content being provided by DTU Wind Energy and players from the Danish wind turbine industry. 

The visitors’ centre will also devote space to exhibitions about the surrounding countryside near Østerild, which takes the form of a dune plantation. As an extension to the visitors’ centre, an operating centre is also to be built for the use of DTU Wind Energy staff and employees from the companies that make use of the seven test sites in the area. 

Construction of both the visitors’ centre and the operating centre is scheduled for completion by the end of 2015.

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