Leitwind fires up 24MW Italian project

Leitwind has commissioned the 24MW Deliceto wind farm in the southern Italian region of Apulia, as its permanent magnet direct-drive turbines continue to find success in the domestic Italian market.

The company was hired to build Deliceto last year by Elce Energia, and raced to complete the project in six months using 16 of its gearless LTW80 turbines, rated at 1.5MW each.

Deliceto, which will be maintained by Leitwind for 15 years, is expected to produce 57GWh of electricity annually, enough for 18,000 Italian homes.

Based in Sterzing, in the majority German-speaking northern Italian province of South Tyrol, Leitwind has installed more than 250 turbines since it began serial production in 2007.

Its direct-drive technology stems from its parent company’s long experience making gondola lifts, chairlifts, aerial tramways and other products for the winter sport industry.

The company installed its first wind-turbine prototype in 2003, and has gone on to open production facilities in Telfs, Austria, and Chennai, India – the latter in partnership with local joint-venture partner Shriram Manufacturing.

While Italy remains the largest market for Leitwind, the company has also installed its turbines across India, Europe and North America, and is also developing projects in Argentina.

Leitwind, which recently brought its first 3MW turbine to market, claims it hauled in revenues of €163m ($221m) in 2011, and expects that figure to have grown past €200m in 2012.