“This acquisition will give GE the ability to provide a direct drive, offshore wind turbine offering as an option to our customers. Scanwind represents the next strategic fit for our wind turbine line and we look forward to further developing their proven technology,” said Victor Abate, GE’s vice president of renewables, commenting on the deal.
The €18.2 million transaction, announced on August 12, is subject to customary closing conditions and expected to be completed in early September. Morphic, the current ScanWind Group AS majority shareholder, is also involved with fuel cells. Nord Trøndelag Elektrisitetsverk is the current minority shareholder at 18.5%.
GE’s offshore wind power involvement dates back to 2000 when a first offshore project comprising seven 1.5-megawatt (MW) former Enron Wind (now GE) units was grid connected in Utgrunden, Sweden. It was later followed by seven of its 3.6-MW 3.6s Offshore turbines that became operational at Arklow Bank in the Irish Sea during 2004. Since then GE has kept a low profile in the offshore segment, even though the company developed an upgraded 3.6-MW 3.6sl Offshore turbine with enlarged 111-meter rotor (initially 104 meters).
However this new turbine model was either shelved or at least not explicitly offered to the offshore wind market during recent years. One possible explanation is that according to official GE Energy statements the global onshore market offers huge sales potential, whereas weather and other project risks are by comparison substantially less. However, one senior manager during a past interview also said that once a substantial number of major U.S. offshore projects enter an advanced stage GE will feel obliged to step in again.
That moment may have come now, amid a global financial credit crisis, but also with an entirely different political climate in the U.S. According to recent press reports the U.S. government has awarded five offshore wind development leases to developers that have planned projects off the coasts of New Jersey and Delaware.
The Right Time
The acquisition can therefore be viewed as a clever move at perhaps the right time. As a key advantage it immediately provides GE Energy with proven state-of-the-art 3.5-MW class (rotor diameter 90.6 meters) direct-drive wind technology specifically developed for coastal onshore and offshore deployment. ScanWind has an operational track record of over six-years with a 3-MW prototype to draw upon, supplemented by operational experiences with three more prototypes and eleven upgraded serial installations.
Interestingly, offshore wind market leader Siemens Wind Power of Germany currently dominates the market with a 3.6-MW geared turbine. In addition, in 2008 the company erected two of its new 3.6-MW direct drive Concept turbines for prolonged testing and analysis.
ScanWind’s pitch-controlled variable speed 3-MW prototype featuring a direct-drive permanent magnet Siemens generator was erected during March 2003 in Nærøy on the windy Norwegian coast. A second demonstration unit was erected during the autumn of 2004. This variable speed 3-MW turbine concept is equipped with a multi-speed variation gearbox and fixed speed generator that enables direct grid connection and eliminates an otherwise required electronic power converter.
The next two prototypes (3 and 4) have an increased 3.5-MW power rating with almost unchanged rotor diameter. These latest prototypes and the remaining 11 of a total of 15 operational ScanWind turbines are fitted with a 3.5-MW directly driven permanent magnet generator originating from Finnish supplier The Switch Ltd.
Back in 2003 ScanWind had already indicated its aim of further upscaling its 3-MW concept to a 5-MW power rating. In 2008 the company revealed a comprehensive staged product development strategy aimed at, “Increasing output on existing platform and optimize cost.” This finally resulted into an optimized 4.X megawatt offshore turbine with corresponding rotor size.
Only the future will tell when and in what manner the world’s second-largest wind turbine supplier will decide to enter the U.S. — and perhaps also the global — offshore wind market. A combination of determination, together with its huge financial, technical and other company means and resources, may well turn GE Energy into an albeit late but formidable offshore wind market competitor.
- How to Make a Wind Generator
Click for the best DIY wind generator guide Building a wind generator requires a few basic components and about a weekend’s worth of time to assemble them into a working model. Once completed, your wind generator will be able to turn a passing breeze into electricity that you can use to help power
- Wind Energy Information, Definition & Explanation
The wind is one of the cleanest sources of energy, and because it is a naturally generated resource, it is also the most abundant energy source on the planet today. Wind power is energy that is created through the conversion of wind into forms that are more practically useful, such as electricity.
- Technological Development of Wind Turbines: An Overview
Technological Development of Wind Turbines: An Overview 1. A Brief History For thousands of years, mankind has been fascinated by the challenge of mastering the wind. The dream of defying Aeolus (Greek god of the wind) and taming the might of the storm held generations of inventors under ist spell. To attain limitless mobility by
- Ge Wind Stock | Green Energy 7
Renewable Energy Stock News ; GE (NYSE: GE) Announces Major European Offshore Wind Expansion with a Planned €340 Million Investment for Manufacturing, Engineering and Service Facilities in Four Countries Plan Focused on GE’s Next Generation 4-megawatt Direct Drive Wind Turbine and Promising Offshore Wind Sector BRUSSELS–(Investorideas.com renewable energy/green news )–GE (NYSE: GE) today announced plans
- Wind. How Does it Actually Work? | DIY
Wind Generator Plans and Electricity Generated from the Wind. How Does it Actually Work? A lot of folks are beginning to become more aware of the problems with the environment and are looking for ways to save money, and help our planet at the same time. More and more people are starting to set up