Vestas’ venture capital arm has invested an indefinite amount in segmented crane technology being developed by S&L Access Systems, a subsidiary of the Swedish conglomerate Stena.

It is now a minority investor in the tech developer, but would not confirm either the level of stake or the level of investment.

The Salamander Quick Lift Crane Technology uses a base frame with a lifting press for crane segments to ensure efficient mobilization and demobilization of the crane.

Segments can be added to enable heavy lifting operations at hub heights well over 200 meters, according to S&L Access Systems.

The turbine manufacturer claims that compared to standard cranes, the Salamander high-speed lift crane technology is safer to use and easier to get to the construction site, assemble and work. It will also speed up on-site relocation and decommissioning, he added.

The technology’s moving platforms are also less sensitive to wind when working in the tower and the crane requires a smaller base than standard cranes, claims Vestas.

Onshore wind turbines now tend to be taller and will soon reach hub heights of over 200 meters. In addition, projects become more complex and are often located in remote areas.

As the importance of the wind turbine industry grows and turbines get taller and more powerful, we are well positioned with this unique crane solution that enables high levels of safety and efficient lifting of tall wind turbines in a more sustainable way than traditional, says Marcus Dahlinder, CEO of S&L Access Systems.

S&L Access Systems is currently carrying out function tests in a concept pilot project and is building a prototype. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of the year and testing can begin immediately, added Dahlinder.

This is the second official investment by Vestas Ventures, having previously invested in Modvion, the manufacturer of wooden towers for wind turbines.

Vestas founded Vestas Ventures in November 2020 to invest in early-stage sustainable energy startups around the world.