Enercon to fill turbine range gap

German manufacturer Enercon is in the early phase of development of a new wind turbine that will sit between its recently launched E-115 3MW model and its E-126 – which with a 7.58MW capacity is currently the largest onshore machine on the market.

The launch of the new machine could occur at some time between late 2016 and early 2017, Enercon managing director Hans-Dieter Kettwig told Recharge on the sidelines of the Hanover industrial fair.

The company, however, is under no time pressure to launch the new model and will first concentrate on the roll-out of the E-115 product range, he added.

“It (the new machine) has to come at the right time,” Kettwig said.

The capacity of the future model depends largely on an evaluation of possible locations for its deployment, he added.

Issues such as how it can be transported, whether it is more important to have another strong-wind machine for a high capacity, or a moderate-wind turbine with an elevated number of full-load hours per year, will all be taken into consideration, Kettwig said.

“It (the size) hasn’t been entirely decided. There are various calculation programmes.”

Since the launch of its E-126 model, Enercon has not been able to sell a very high volume of the turbine, which is geared towards strong-wind locations and difficult to transport.

For the Noordoostpolder, or NOP, project in the Netherlands that is slated to be completed toward the middle of next year, Enercon is shipping the components of 26 E-126 turbines on vessels via inland navigation from production sites in Germany to their location at the shore of the northeast Polder in the Netherlands.