GE Wind (offshore)

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GE Power (subsidiary)
IndustryWind turbines
PredecessorAlstom Wind (2010-2015)
Alstom Ecotècnia (2007-2010)
Ecotècnia S.c.c.l. (1981-2007)
Headquarters
Barcelona
,
Spain
ParentGeneral Electric

GE Power's offshore wind business is a joint venture with Alstom, created in 2015 when most of that company's other electrical power and generation assets were acquired. GE's stake in the joint venture is 50 % plus 1 share.

Formerly known as Alstom Wind, originally Alstom Ecotècnia, the company was the wind power company of energy infrastructure company Alstom, within its 'Power' operating division, from 2010 to 2015. The company originated as Ecotècnia S.c.c.l., a Spanish wind power equipment manufacturing and installation company established in 1981, acquired by Alstom 2007 for €350 million.

The subsidiary's main product is the 6MW 'Haliade' offshore wind turbine, one of the most powerful turbines on Earth.

History[edit]

Ecotècnia, 1987-2007[edit]

Detail of a wind turbine Alstom-Ecotècnica Eco80 in the Spanish Basque Country

Ecotècnia was a manufacturer and installer of wind turbines established in 1981, headquartered in Barcelona, Spain. In 1999 it became part of the Basque-based cooperative Mondragon Corporation.[1]

The company's first wind generator was a 30 kW machine, developed by 1984 with funding assistance from the Spanish Science Ministry. In 1991 the company developed a 150 kW machine, and in 1992 won its first commercial project - for fifty 150 kW turbines at Tarifa, Spain.[2] The particular demands of installing wind turbines in mountainous regions in Spain which included poor road access and blustery (high turbulence) conditions led to specific design features of Ecotècnia's turbines - including a modular construction of the turbine (three components: rotor and shaft; mainframe and yaw system; and the drive train - each less than 30t), as well as isolation of the gearbox from the main drive, reducing non-torque gearbox loads.[2][3]

In 2005 the company's estimate world market share (by installed capacity) was 2.1%.[3] By 2007 the company had installed over wind farms with over 1GW total of rate power;[4] the company had increased the power output of its wind turbine offering from 30 kW in 1984 to 1.67MW by 2003.[5]

In the first half of the 1990s the company installed wind farms using its ECO20 150 kW model, from 1995 to 2000 the company's primary models were the ECO44 (640 kW) and ECO48 (750 kW) models.[4] After 2003 most of the company's installations used its 1.67MW IEC-1400-1 class II ECO74,[6] and class IIIA ECO80,[7] three blade turbine models;[4] both typically used a mechanically isolated Winergy AG PEAB 4390.2 planetary gearbox driving a doubly fed induction generator (typically ABB, Siemens, Winergy sourced) with IGBT inverter control, driven by individually pitch controlled LM manufactured blades.[3][6][7]

The majority of its installations were in Spain, with approximately 10% in other countries including Portugal, France, Italy as well as installations in Japan and India.[4]

In mid 2007 Alstom acquired Ecotècnia for 350 million euro.[8] By late 2007 the company employed over 800 people, with sales of approximately €400 million pa., and operated wind turbine assembly plants in Somozas and Buñuel, other sites at Rio del Pozo (control panels) and Coreses (tower manufacturing).[9] The company also manufactured small scale autonomous energy systems for isolated locations (tradename 'CICLOPS') comprising windgenerator (10 kW), photovoltaic solar source (2 to 10 kW), generator, battery and inverter, and was active in small scale photovoltaic cell installation (factory Pla de Santa Maria.[9]).[10]

Alstom Ecotècnia / Alstom Wind, 2007-2015[edit]

The first ECO100 3MW wind turbine was formally inaugurated at the Vieux Moulin wind farm (Pithiviers, Paris, France) 1 October 2009.[11]

The company was renamed Alstom Wind S.L. in April 2010.[12]

In 2010 Alstom began construction of a turbine nacelle factory in Amarillo, USA,[13] completed in mid 2011.[14] In November 2011 a 300MW per year capacity manufacturing plant in Camaçari near Salvador, Bahia, Brazil was formally opened.[15]

In March 2012 a prototype of Alstom Haliade 150 6MW offshore turbine was formally inaugurated; the turbine was developed for large scale offshore wind projects off the French coast;[16] in January 2011 Alstom joined a consortium led by EDF Energies Nouvelles as turbine supplier (also including Dong Energy, Nass & Wind, WPD Offshore) to bid for proposed offshore wind farms in France of 6GW capacity.[17] The Haliade 150 turbine was a development of the previous mechanically isolated transmission designs developed by Ecotècnia;[note 1] the gearbox driven electrically generator was omitted and replaced with a gearless direct drive permanent magnet synchronous generator designed for higher efficiency and greater reliability with fewer moving parts. The turbine uses 73.5m turbine blades from LM Wind Power.[19]

In April 2012 the French state awarded an EDF/Dong Energy/Alstom consortium three contracts for offshore wind farms (Saint-Nazaire, Courseulles-sur-Mer, Fécamp.[20]) off the northwestern coast of France of total power 1.4GW. As a result, Alstom confirmed that it would be constructing wind turbine factories at Cherbourg-en-Cotentin (Turbine blades in association with LM Power, wind turbine towers), and at Saint-Nazaire (Nacelles and generators) in the Montoir-de-Bretagne port area.[21]

A 6MW 'Haliade' began generating electricity in July 2012 during certification testing. The turbines electrical generator is supplied by partner company, General Electric subsidiary GE Power Conversion (Converteam), who are also expected to establish a production plant in Saint Nazaire.[22]

In late 2012 Alstom announced the intention to construct a wind turbine tower manufacturing facility in Canoas, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, on a site adjacent to an established Alstom power transmission factory.[23] The plant was officially inaugurated in August 2013.[24]

In Feb. 2013 the company announced the cut of 35% of its workforce in Spain, due to a collapse in the Spanish wind market due to a change to governmental support for wind developments.[25][note 2] The facilities at Somozas, Galicia (electrical equipment), and Zamora, Castille and Leon region (towers) were to close with electrical equipment production moved to the plant at Buñuel, Navarra.[25][28] Total job losses were later reduced from 373 to 265.[29]

A Haliade 150 turbine was installed at the Belwind wind farm in November 2013 for operational tests, at the time being one of the largest operational wind turbines in the world.[30][31][note 3]

In December 2014 the St. Nazairre nacelle and generator assembly factory was officially opened.[32][33]

In early 2015 a wind turbine tower factory was opened in Jacobina, Bahia, Brazil; constructed as a joint venture (51%/49%) between Andrade Gutierrez and Alstom.[34]

Initial orders for the company's Haliade wind turbine included 5 units for the Block Island Wind Farm (USA, March 2015);[35] and 66 units for DEME for the Merkur offshore wind farm (Germany, July 2015).[36]

In Nov 2015 most of Alstom's energy generation and transmission assets were acquired by General Electric, the combined business under GE was to be named GE Power.[37] The two parties also created three joint ventures, among them a hydro and offshore renewable business unit.

GE Power (offshore wind) (2016-)[edit]

In February 2016 the first of a series production of 300 permanent magnet wind generators was completed at the St. Nazaire factory.[38][39] A long planned test period for the 6MW Haliade is expected to start in Spring 2016 at Østerild Wind Turbine Test Field.[40][41]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The Haliade 150 design has separate main rotor and generator bearings, with torque transmitted from rotor to generator via a flexible coupling.[18]
  2. ^ Spanish governmental austerity measures led to subsidies for wind power ending c.2012. Quote: In January 2012 the newly appointed Spanish government announced a temporary suspension in the premium remuneration for renewable energy capacity. ... It’s expected that this decision will simply stop the building of new wind in 2013.[26] Support via Feed-in tariffs were to be replaced by subsidies encouraging capital investment, with only intrinsically profitable ventures supported.[27]
  3. ^ An initial Haliade 150 turbine was installed onshore at Le Carnet,France for testing and certification in March 2012.[30]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ecotècnia S.c.c.l, "Perfil Corporativo", 2003, company website
  2. ^ a b Elizabeth Nash (15 May 2002), "Spanish turbines catch winds of change", evolution.skf.com
  3. ^ a b c M. Ragheb (28 February 2010), "Modern Wind Generators" (PDF), netfiles.uiuc.edu, "Ecotècnia wind turbines", also Table 1. "Wind turbine manufacturers share of installed capacity as of 2005", archived from the original (PDF) on 18 December 2012
  4. ^ a b c d "List of principal installations carried out by Ecotècnia" (PDF), www.ecotecnia.com, 2007, archived from the original (PDF) on 29 November 2007
  5. ^ Alstom and Ecotècnia, June 2008, "Evolución tecnológica", p.23
  6. ^ a b "Technical characteristics: 74/1.6" (PDF), www.econtecnia.com, 2007, archived from the original (PDF) on 29 November 2007
  7. ^ a b "Technical Characteristics: 80/1.6" (PDF), www.econtecnia.com, 2007, archived from the original (PDF) on 29 November 2007
  8. ^ Sources:
  9. ^ a b Alstom and Ecotècnia, June 2008, "Current Footprint", pp.26-7
  10. ^ Ecotècnia S.c.c.l, "Activities", June 2007, company website
  11. ^ "OnSite: The Ecotècnia 100 Launch", www.internationalresourcejournal.com, November – December 2009
  12. ^ "Company Overview of ALSTOM Wind, S.L.", investing.businessweek.com, Bloomberg LP
  13. ^ "Alstom se développe dans l'éolien aux Etats-Unis", www.boursier.com (in French), 31 May 2010
  14. ^ Yann Ranaivo (26 July 2010), "Wind-power firms to employ 70 to 80 workers this year", amarillo.com
  15. ^ Sources:
  16. ^ Sources:
  17. ^ Sources:
  18. ^ de Vries, Eize (11 July 2012), "Close up - Alstom Haliade 6MW prototype", www.windpowermonthly.com
  19. ^ Haliade 150–6MW Offshore Wind Turbine (PDF), Alstom[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ "Désignation des lauréats du premier appel d'offres "éolien en mer"", www.developpement-durable.gouv.fr (in French), 6 April 2012
  21. ^ Sources:
  22. ^ Sources:
  23. ^ Alstom intends to set up a wind tower factory in Canoas, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, Alstom, 1 October 2012, archived from the original on 16 November 2012, retrieved 2 October 2012
  24. ^ Alstom inaugurates its first wind tower factory in Latin America, Alstom, 9 August 2013, archived from the original on 14 December 2013, retrieved 11 December 2013
  25. ^ a b "Alstom Wind cuts 35% of jobs in Spain", www.windpowermonthly.com, 27 February 2013
  26. ^ Annual report 2011 (PDF), EDP Renováveis, 2001, Wind Energy Regulation (by Country) - Spain, p.35, archived from the original (PDF) on 12 February 2013, retrieved 11 December 2013
  27. ^ McGovern, Michael (19 July 2013), "Analysis - Reform pushes Spanish renewables to the edge", www.windpowermonthly.com
  28. ^ Alstom presents an adjustment plan for its wind power business in Spain, Alstom, 26 February 2013
  29. ^ Alstom Wind reaches an agreement with workers to implement the adjustment plan, Alstom, 5 July 2013
  30. ^ a b "First offshore installation of Alstom's Haliade 150", www.modernpowersystems.com, 22 November 2013
  31. ^ De MonicaultMis, Frédéric (21 November 2013), "Alstom installe sa première éolienne en mer", www.lefigaro.fr (in French)
  32. ^ "Alstom cuts ribbon in Saint-Nazaire", renews.biz, 2 December 2014, archived from the original on 8 December 2014, retrieved 2 December 2014
  33. ^ "Alstom inaugurating France's first offshore wind turbine production plants in Saint-Nazaire", www.alstom.com (Press release), 2 December 2014
  34. ^ "Alstom opens third Brazilian factory", renews.biz, 30 January 2015, archived from the original on 11 February 2015, retrieved 11 February 2015
  35. ^ Alstom announces a major milestone for Deepwater’s Block Island Offshore Wind Project (press release), Alstom, 9 March 2015, archived from the original on 18 May 2015, retrieved 10 May 2015
  36. ^ Alstom, DEME and Merkur Offshore sign a contract for the delivery and installation of 66 Haliade offshore wind turbines in Germany (press release), Alstom, July 2015, archived from the original on 27 July 2015, retrieved 11 August 2015
  37. ^ "Alstom closes sale of energy business to GE (UPDATE 1)", www.reuters.com, 2 November 2015
  38. ^ "GE completes Haliade heart", renews.biz, 10 February 2016
  39. ^ GE’s 6-Megawatt Wind Generator Leaves Factory, Destined to Accelerate Offshore Wind Growth (press release), GE, 10 February 2016
  40. ^ "Haliade 150-6MW - Østerild (onshore) - 4C Offshore".
  41. ^ "Key project dates for Haliade 150-6MW - Østerild (onshore) - 4C Offshore". Retrieved 28 March 2016.

Sources[edit]

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