German and Chinese companies following US size trends

Two of the challengers on the US market are launching an attack with new models and record size turbines. This is the logical step, says CEO.
Photo: Goldwind
Photo: Goldwind


The US boasts the world's second-largest wind market, although, measured on individual turbines, it is not as significant.

However, wind turbine size is growing beyond 2 MW turbines. From 2016 to 2017, the average turbine in the US grew from an average capacity of 2.15 MW to 2.32 MW, close to UK and French levels.

This has benefited turbine manufacturers. Most recently, Senvion has followed competitors Vestas and Siemens Gamesa into the market with the launch of two new turbines for the US market on what the Germans call a 4.2 MW platform. This is an expansion of the company's 3 MW platform, boasting 140 and 148 meter rotor diameters and for use on sites with low or medium wind conditions.

"4.2 MW and 148 are the logical next step in our US product line, and the initial market indicators are extremely positive. The 4.2 MW platform drives LCoE down, maximising the wind harvested and – taking our strong track record into consideration – creates long term security in the business case for our customers' investments," says Senvion's president for North America, Lance Marram.

Chinese player Goldwind tackled the issue of size slightly differently Tuesday, after announcing a newly-installed prototype. The Chinese model is not quite so large – it is a 3 MW turbine that can be scaled up to 3.57 MW, but it is particularly high.

In Texas, Goldwind has completed the installation of a 3S prototype with a hub height of 130 meters and a 199.2 meter tip height, which is the highest for the Chinese company beyond its domestic market, and which, according to the company, is the highest on US soil.

"The newest model in Goldwind's portfolio of turbines continues to push the limits of technology and define what is possible in the wind industry. This puts our customers in a position to maximise their project finances with a higher capacity at a higher hub height while taking advantage of the scalability of the 3MW plus platform," says Goldwind America's vice chairman Reinhard Sander.

English Edit: Lena Rutkowski

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