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France

Enercon looks at new E-126 7.5MW prototype

FRANCE: Enercon is considering installing a E-126 7.5MW turbine, with "offshore potential", at a test project on the French coast, Windpower Monthly has learned.

Enercon's E126 7.5MW machine is the biggest in the world
Enercon's E126 7.5MW machine is the biggest in the world

The manufacturer is in discussions with the Le Havre Development Agency to install a prototype at the WIN I testing site at Le Havre, on the French coast.

"We have recently met with Enercon and we are working with their team on the possibility to install a prototype on our test site WIN I located in the area of Le Havre port," said Gérard Mercher, the agency's director general.

WIN I, which should be operational early in 2015, is an onshore site designed for testing and certifying on and offshore turbines.

Until now Enercon has not shown any sign of going offshore, although the high-wind speed, direct-drive configuration and capacity of the E-126 would seem well suited to near shore and offshore use.

Speaking to Windpower Monthly, Enercon said the E-126 would have a 135-metre tower, taking the tip height to around the 200-metre mark.

Enercon specified that "offshore potential" means that the test site WIN I offers the opportunity to test the turbine in high speed coastal winds.

Areva has already earmarked one of the three spaces at Le Havre for testing its M5000 5MW offshore machine.

"Enercon will be a candidate for one of the sites identified to host the wind sector in Le Havre. We would be interested in installing an onshore prototype with offshore potential," said Peter Schuster, director of Enercon France, according to the French newspaper Paris-Normandie.

Launched in 2007, the second-generation E-126 7.5MW machine is still the world's biggest turbine. Just over 30 units are currently in operation in Germany and the Netherlands, with another 38 being installed at Noordoostpolder, in the Netherlands.

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