A-Power builds first prototype turbine for Texas wind farm

China’s A-Power Energy Generations Systems has completed the first prototype 2.05MW turbine for the proposed Spinning Star Wind Energy Project in West Texas, says chief executive Jinxiang Lu.

The unit will be delivered and installed at the site, although he gave no timeframe for that to happen. It was also unclear how long it will undergo testing.

“We continue to believe that the Spinning Star Project will evolve into a first-rate renewable energy project that will be the model for future large scale wind projects throughout the US," he says.

Lu provided no details on the turbine or its technology. The company licenses turbine technology from Germany’s Furlander and Norwin of Denmark, and has a joint-venture agreement with General Electric to produce wind turbine gearboxes in Shenyang, China.

Spinning Star is being developed by a joint venture comprised of Shenyang Power Group, a partly-owned Chinese subsidiary of A-Power, US Renewable Energy Group and project developer Cielo Wind .

The project, as originally proposed, had come under fire earlier this year from several lawmakers in the US Congress, who complained it would create hundreds more jobs in China than in the US. For that reason, they sought to deny it a federal incentive that covers 30% of renewable energy development costs.

Since then, A-Power, US Renewable and real estate developer American Nevada Group announced they will build a wind turbine production and assembly plant in Nevada. The facility will have 1.1GW of annual capacity and employ an eventual 1,000 workers, according to A-Power.

In August, A-Power signed an agreement with US trade union United Steelworkers (USW) and Shenyang Power Group to purchase 50,000 tons of steel from suppliers with employees represented by the USW.

Despite all that, the Spinning Star partners have said little since about their efforts to win federal support for the project or how many turbines would come from the Nevada plant. The initial plan was to use 240 turbines, although more would be needed if each one is 2.05MW.