Siemens 6MW in at Hunterston

Siemens has finished installing its 6MW gearless offshore wind turbine at SSE’s coastal onshore test site in Hunterston, southwest Scotland, representing another feather in its cap as it angles for early Round 3 orders.

Working alongside the utility, Siemens will carry out “final testing” on its “market-ready” SWT-6.0-154 turbine, which boasts a 154-metre rotor-blade diameter, before moving into serial production.

Using language that will bolster expectations for a final commitment on its proposed turbine factory in Hull, northeast England, Siemens Wind’s Jan Kjaersgaard said: “The United Kingdom is backing our technology in a particular way.”

“We are focused on making a visible contribution to the UK’s economy,” says Kjaersgaard, chief executive for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Siemens Wind.

Two of Siemens’ 6MW machines have been undergoing testing at Dong’s Gunfleet Sands offshore wind farm since this spring.

Last year Siemens signed a framework agreement with Dong to deliver 6MW turbines worth 1.8GW during the 2014-2017 period, in a deal that will include projects like Westernmost Rough and Walney 3.

SSE also has a mid-term project pipeline of great interest to Siemens, although the German group will have been disappointed by comments last week from SSE chief executive Alistair Phillips-Davies, in which he confirmed that the utility will halt final investment decisions on UK offshore wind farms until at least 2014 due to political uncertainty.

SSE’s Hunterston testing site, developed in partnership with Scottish Enterprise, will also host Mitsubishi’s 7MW SeaAngel offshore turbine, completion of which has been delayed until next spring due to challenges with the local soil geology.

The Hunterston site also has the capacity for a third turbine, although no manufacturer has yet had its name attached.