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RR: Manufacturers unveils 6MW wind electricity turbines

23 Mar 2012 17:08:19 | edem

Germany's REpower installed the world's first 6MW offshore wind turbine off the Belgian coast on Tuesday, one day after French manufacturer Alstom unveiled a similar product at an onshore test site in Brittany.

REpower's new 6M turbine is the first of 48 turbines of 6MW to be erected at the Thornton Bank wind farm, 20km off the shore of Oostende. Once fully operational at the end of 2013, the site will boast an installed capacity of 325MW.

With a rotor star diameter of 126 metres, REpower's new turbine is the same size as its 5MW version, but a number of technical improvements have resulted in higher output.

REpower first installed a 6MW turbine at an onshore site in Germany in 2009.

Meanwhile, Alstom has developed its 6MW Haliade turbine to coincide with France's offshore wind tenders, the results of which are expected in April (see EDEM 11 January 2012).

The turbine has been erected near Saint-Nazaire, where the manufacturer plans to build a factory for the turbines to be built.

Alstom has teamed up with French incumbent generator EDF as well as Denmark's DONG Energy, and is looking to secure four of the five concessions on offer, worth 2.25GW of capacity, according to a source close to EDF.

One French trader told ICIS Heren he doubted the prospective wind farms would have much impact on wholesale spot prices.

"In France you're talking about such small numbers for wind, it won't influence the price level in any way," said the source.

After a testing period at its onshore site at Carnet, Alstom aims to install a second turbine off the Belgian coast this autumn. TH

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