Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) has won two orders totaling 487MW from EDF Renewables North America, the launch customer for its SG 4.5-145 turbine in a market showing appetite for much larger onshore machines and one where it has lagged commercially in recent years.
“This new generation turbine offers best-in-class LCoE based on proven technology and evidences our commitment to continued innovation,” said José Antonio Miranda, chief executive for onshore Americas at SGRE.
EDF NA, the number nine owner of wind power capacity in the US and long-time Vestas customer, ordered 48 SG 4.5-145 and 1 SWT-2.3-108 turbines for the 241MW Coyote wind farm in West Texas that is scheduled to be online in summer 2020.
SGRE will also supply 48 SG 4.5-145 and 13 SWT-2.3-108 turbines for SGRE's Oso Grande project in neighbouring New Mexico due to enter commercial operation in Q4 2020..
The SG 4.5-145 offers a flexible power rating from 4.2 MW to 4.8 MW depending on site conditions and has a rotor diameter of 145 meters. The 71-meter blade integrates aerodynamics and noise reduction features—including SG's "DinoTails" technology.
Due to capacity constraints at its US facilities, nacelles and hubs for the SG 4.5-145 will come a "combination" of its plant in Hutchinson, Kansas, and "our global manufacturing network," Kaile Gurney, a spokeswoman for SGRE in the US, wrote in an email. "The blades and towers will be sourced from our global network as well."
“This new SG 4.5-145 turbine is the ideal fit for the Coyote and Oso Grande projects, helping EDF Renewables achieve the value necessary to build a competitive project,” said Art Del Rio, vice president, wind technology strategy at EDF Renewables.
“The evolution of our partnership with Siemens Gamesa to include this new technology is a significant milestone for both companies as it contributes to our long-standing efforts to reduce LCoE.”
The deal is an important commercial win for SGRE which lost its US leadership several years ago in the 3MW and above turbine platform segment to Vestas and was also surpassed by Nordex. The largest turbines in the US are Vestas 3.6MW.
Overall, SGRE ranked fourth in 2018 in the world's second largest wind market behind those OEMs and GE.
It has struggled to gain ground on GE and Vestas in the three core US regional wind markets: Texas, the Midwest and Plains states.
The SG 4.5-145 should help. Developers are looking more at larger turbines in states such as Texas where space for projects is not a concern and local officials do not oppose them even with increased hub heights and rotor diameters, and taller towers.
The more constant wind speeds at higher altitudes increases turbine capacity factors and energy production, while reducing project costs as fewer turbines are often necessary.
As well, federal aviation authorities are approving more turbines with tower heights above 152.4 meters (500 feet), which is also opening new markets in states with lower wind resource.
For EDF, the SG 4.5-145s will employ 107.5 m towers, said Gurney.
Updates throughout with SG 4.5-145 manufacturing detail and SGRE position in US wind turbine market