Gamesa progress on 5MW offshore turbine

SPAIN: Gamesa has installed the main components of its 5MW offshore turbine in the Canary Islands.

The turbine's tower, nacelle and blades were installed at Arinaga Quay, Gran Canaria. The company revealed that the tower and the nacelle are 90-metres and 12.5-metres long respectively. The blades are 62.5 metres long.

The turbine has been in development since 2010 and is based on the company's 4.5MW onshore model. Gamesa announced it was planning to install the turbine on Gran Canaria last year, after switching the project from Virginia in the US. Additionally, Gamesa said the 5MW turbine will also be made available for onshore use.

The 5MW machine is based on the medium-speed G128 4.5MW onshore turbine introduced in 2010. Notable features include a 250-tonne top head mass, segmented rotor blades and a 128-metre rotor.

Speaking to Windpower Monthly at RenewableUK's Offshore 2013 conference, Gamesa director offshore programme Michaela O'Donohoe said the turbine would probably be commissioned with a view to gaining certification in 2014.

Asked how the machine would compete against larger capacity machines being developed by Siemens, Alstom and Vestas, O'Donohoe said: "There are not so many 5MW turbines offshore right now. The standard for the coming years will be around that nominal capacity and there will be a market for those capacities as the offshore market moves into deeper waters."

Speaking about the 7-8MW offshore turbine that was postponed last year, O'Donohoe said the Gamesa has part-developed the design. She said: "The 7-8MW turbine has been progressed to good point in terms of its technological development. like everyone else in the sector, we're going to wait and see before we take it further. We do believe when we talk about next generation that we need to talk about higher capacity. But the turbine is not the endgame, the sector needs to look at substructures, better installation methods."

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