Senvion 'on track' with 10MW-plus offshore turbine: CEO

Germany-based wind turbine manufacturer Senvion is “on track” with the development of its 10MW-plus offshore machine, but has not yet reached the stage of a “physical prototype”, chief executive Jürgen Geissinger said during a conference call to discuss first-half results.

Senvion is working with a number of customers to judge what the market for the future offshore workhorse will be, Geissinger added.

“The team (for the development of the turbine) is up and running,” he said, but declined to provide further detail on what stage the development of the turbine has reached.

“First we have to deliver,” Geissinger said.

Senvion breaks cover with 10MW+ offshore wind turbine

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Senvion surprised the sector earlier this year when it announced that it is developing a 10MW-plus offshore turbine even though the company currently is in the midst of a restructuring to cut costs. Much larger and financially more stable rivals, such as offshore turbine market-leader Siemens Gamesa, are also working on 10MW-plus machines.

Future very large offshore turbines will be needed for 1.38GW in projects from zero-subsidy bids in Germany’s first offshore wind auction won by German and Danish utilities EnBW and Dong Energy, which are slated to go online in the mid-2020s.

While it is unclear whether Senvion is a potential provider of 10MW-plus turbines for those projects, Geissinger said that the company’s super-size machine “will be available” for projects from Germany’s next offshore wind tender in 2018 when 1.6GW in pre-developed projects will be eligible to compete, but he declined to provide further details.

It is as yet unknown where Senvion would produce its future offshore turbine.

The company during the conference call said that its Power Blades plant at the German port of Bremerhaven will be closed by January 2018, while Senvion during the first half of 2017 expanded its blade manufacturing in Portugal, which is further away from core offshore wind markets in the North Sea.

Power Blades had been in trouble for years due to the volatility of offshore wind orders for Senvion.