Shanghai offshore report - China's turbine manufacturers think big

CHINA: Guodian United Power has announced it is planning to develop a 12MW offshore turbine. The manufacturer is one of a number of Chinese companies to announced plans for large-capacity turbines at Shanghai Offshore Wind Power 2011.

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Sun Lixiang, deputy general manager of Guodian United Power, said his company has completed the design of a 6MW offshore wind turbine. It will produce a prototype at the end of the year.

Sun also said Guodian United Power will start to develop a 12MW offshore wind turbine in 2012.

Other manufacturers producing offshore turbines include, Shanghai Electric. The company said it is developing a 5MW product and will produce a prototype by the end of this year.

Goldwind also said it will produce its first 6MW direct-drive permanent magnetic prototype, with a lighter turbine head, at the end of 2011 or early 2012.

The company's chief engineer Cui Xinwei said the 6MW turbines are designed for east and south China offshore areas, as well as applicable overseas offshore areas. Goldwind will produce the 6MW turbines at its production base in Dafeng, Jiangsu province in 2014.

Haizhuang, based in southwest China's Chongqing city, said it started to develop permanent magnetic 5MW offshore turbines in late 2009, in cooperation with Mecal from the Netherlands. It completed overall design in November 2010 and starts to assemble a prototype in June this year. The prototype will be installed in Jiangsu province in the second half of this year.

Last October, central China's Hunan-based XEMC produced a 5MW direct-drive permanent magnetic offshore prototype.

Song Xiaoping, XEMC deputy general manager, said XEMC has three 5MW turbines in pipeline. One has been installed in the Netherlands, one will be installed in Fujian, and one will be installed in an onshore wind farm in Zhangbei, north China's Hebei province.

Last October, Sinovel produced a 5MW prototype.

Tao Gang, vice-president of Sinovel, said his company is constructing a pilot project in Shanghai East Sea Bridge Offshore Wind Farm, using the 5MW turbine. In May, Sinovel produced a 6MW prototype, China's largest with independent property rights, in its production base in Yancheng, Jiangsu province.

Cui Xinwei said so many companies are eager to develop 6MW-level turbines turbines as they will be the standard choice for offshore wind farms. Cui said it after comparing the product mix of leading world turbine makers, including Vestas, Siemens, Nordex, and Repower.

China has been boosting offshore wind power in recent years.
In 2010, China launched a public tender for four projects located in Jiangsu, including two 300MW projects and two 200MW projects.

China's National Energy Bureau is likely to auction a second batch of offshore wind power projects, doubling the first group of projects to amount to 2GW, in the first half of 2012.

Industry officials said this will further stimulate production of large-capacity offshore turbines.

According to China's national plan, China will have 5GW offshore wind installed capacity and another 5GW under construction in 2015 and 30GW in 2020.

China will give priority to tap offshore wind power in east China's Jiangsu and Shandong provinces in the next five years, while pay high attention to Shanghai city, and Hebei, Zhejiang, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, and Hainan provinces.

However, Guodian's Sun said despite the fast expansion of Chinese offshore wind power over the past two years, China remains less developed compared with Europe and the United States. In terms of technology, China is less developed in producing large-capacity offshore turbines compared with western counterparts.

It is also weak in terms of studying offshore wind power resources, climate environments, and seabed structure.

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