Ribbon cut at Gamesa 5MW offshore

Spain's first offshore wind turbine has been officially switched on on the island of Gran Canaria as Gamesa inaugurated its new 5MW machine.

The G128-5.0 MW, erected at the end of Arinaga Quay, is designed for installation in mid-range depth in near-shore waters, with the Spanish company eyeing the first of the UK Round 3 projects and the host of developments on the drawing board for construction  off Germany.

Featuring a 128-metre diameter rotor and a total height of 154 metres, the turbine was first started up in July, and has since produced energy at full capacity, dispatching more than 1 GWh to the grid.

The ceremony was attended by the president of the Canary Islands regional government, Paulino Rivero, the Minister for Industry, Energy and Tourism, José Manuel Soria, and the Chairman of Gamesa, Ignacio Martín.

"With this launch, Gamesa is displaying its appetite for competing at the top level of the wind power industry, demonstrating that the wind is a competitive source of energy that makes a significant contribution to containing energy prices and that it is capable of competing head-to-head with nuclear and coal fired energy and close to grid parity with hydro and CCGT powered energy on a normalised cost basis," said a company spokesman.

Over 1.3 million engineering hours went into designing and validating the new turbine.

Gamesa has discontinued earlier plans to develop a 5.5MW offshore model to focus on next generation of 8MW platforms.