Global turbine projects get a second wind

With the announcement earlier this year that Germany plans to phase out nuclear power by 2022, the country’s wind sector has seen a surge in investments.

WindMW GmbH has completed financing for “Meerwind”, Germany’s largest offshore wind farm to date and the first to be fully financed by private investors. The 80-turbine farm is expected to produce sufficient energy to power 400,000 households.

WindMW has also teamed up with energy giants RWE and E.ON to plan a German North Sea wind base on the island of Heligoland. The base will operate and maintain a number of offshore projects, including the 288MW Meerwind farm.

Financial backing for these projects is provided by US investment firm Blackstone, which owns 80% of WindMW. Blackstone has committed to invest a total of €2.5 billion in the Meerwind and Noerdlicher Grund wind farms, which are expected to be functional by 2013 and 2016, respectively.

The past week has also seen a series of global developments in the wind energy sector.

In Canada, Pattern Energy Group and Samsung Renewable Energy have signed four wind power purchase agreements with the Ontario Power Authority (OPA).

Pattern and Samsung’s wind power portfolio has steadily increased to a total of 870 MW, sufficient energy to power 300,000 Canadian homes.

Meanwhile, in the US, GE Energy will deliver 228 turbines to Wind Capital Group projects in Oklahoma and Kansas in 2012.

GE turbines are already active at a number of Wind Capital Group farms across the Midwest. The Osage project, Oklahoma, and the Post Rock project, Kansas, will increase Wind Capital Group’s US wind power capacity to over half a gigawatt.

Back in the UK, German wind energy company REpower has won a contract to supply seven 2.05MW turbines to a planned farm at Coldham in Cambridgeshire. REpower has already installed this technology elsewhere in the area, proving it ideally suited to the local conditions.

Meanwhile, off the coast of Norfolk, Statoil and Statkraft have celebrated after the first 3.6MW Siemens turbine was connected at their Sheringham Shoal wind farm last week. The project will eventually include 88 wind turbines, and is on track to be completed by summer 2012.

Also in the UK, engineering giant Siemens has secured its largest order yet for direct-drive wind turbines. Eneco Wind UK’s onshore wind farm in Lochluichart, Scotland, will receive 17 of the gearbox-free machines. Supporters claim that the direct-drive turbine’s reduced number of moving parts lessens the chance of a malfunction.

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Related stories:
Wind developments pick up in Europe (30-Mar)
Global wind market will grow again this year, says forecast (17-Mar)
Fresh wind for renewables in 2010 (7-Jan 2010)


09 August 2011