GE Renewable Energy and independent asset manager Luxcara announced an agreement to develop Europe’s largest onshore wind farm, an installation that includes a 25-year full-turbine service and maintenance contract.
Luxcara has begun infrastructure work on the project in Sweden. GE Renewable Energy on Feb. 15 said it expects to begin installing the first of 137 of the company’s Cypress onshore wind turbines at the Önusberget wind farm as soon as July.
The wind farm’s 753-MW generation capacity makes it GE Renewable Energy’s second-largest onshore wind contract outside of the U.S. Monday’s announcement comes just days after Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas said it would launch what would be the world’s largest offshore wind turbine, a 15-MW model surpassing GE’s 14-MW Haliade-X, as competition to create ever-larger wind power projects continues.
Ice Mitigation System
The Cypress onshore wind turbines each have a 158-meter rotor and generation capacity of 5.5 MW, which GE said is “ideally suited for the project site’s wind speeds and climate.” The turbine blades will be equipped with what GE calls “an innovative ice mitigation system, ensuring a stable level of availability and reduced downtime.”
“We are delighted to have been selected by Luxcara to partner on the largest-ever single onshore wind farm to be built in Europe,” said Jérôme Pécresse, president and CEO of GE Renewable Energy, on Monday. “The Önusberget wind farm marks our continuous commitment to the Swedish onshore wind market, extends our presence in Europe and confirms the confidence of our customers in Cypress, our most powerful onshore wind platform.”
“We are proud to work with GE to build Europe’s largest onshore wind farm in the resource-rich north of Sweden,” said Alexandra von Bernstorff, managing partner of Luxcara. “We were among the first to enter the Nordic wind market back in 2015 and this project re-affirms our position as the region’s largest long-term investor in the sector.”
Luxcara is an independent asset manager that offers equity and debt investment opportunities to international investors in the global renewable energy market. The company since 2009 has acquired, structured, financed, and operated renewable energy projects as a long-term buy-and-hold investor.
The company is among the most prominent European investors in projects with long-term power purchase agreements. It’s portfolio includes renewable power projects across Europe, with total generation capacity of more than 3 GW, and an investment volume of more than €3 billion ($3.7 billion).
Vestas Announces 15-MW Offshore Wind Turbine
Monday’s news follows Vestas’ Feb. 10 announcement that the company is launching its new offshore wind turbine, the V236-15.0 MW. The new Vestas model replaces GE’s 14-MW Haliade-X as the world’s largest offshore wind turbine; the V236-15.0 MW will have a rotor diameter of 774 feet, or 236 meters, and a wind-swept area of 470,845 square feet (43,743 square meters). In comparison, GE’s Haliade-X has a rotor diameter of 722 feet (220 meters) and a wind-swept area of 409,168 square feet (38,013 square meters).
Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy also has said it is working on a 14-MW turbine that could provide 15 MW of power if required.
Vestas said the first V236-15.0 MW prototype is expected to be installed in 2022, with major production scheduled for 2024. “Offshore wind will play an integral role in the growth of wind energy and the V236-15.0MW will be a driver in this development by lowering [the] levelized cost of energy, thus making our customers more competitive in offshore tenders going forward,” said Henrik Andersen, Vestas’ president and CEO.
GE’s 14-MW Haliade-X turbines will be used for the first time at Dogger Bank, for now the world’s largest announced offshore wind farm. Dogger Bank, which is being built in phases in the North Sea, off the east coast of Yorkshire, UK, is being developed by Equinor and SSE, among others. The full project, set for completion in 2026, could produce up to 4.8 GW of power, according to its developers.
—Darrell Proctor is associate editor for POWER (@POWERmagazine).