Repower holds fire on offshore turbines beyond 6MW

GERMANY: Repower will stick with its 6M 6MW offshore turbine until the end of the decade, according to vice president for offshore development Norbert Giese.

Giese said the Suzlon-subsidiary has no plans to design new turbines, despite projects by other turbine manufacturers, including Vestas and Siemens, to build larger machines.

Instead, Repower anticipates incremental development of its 6M turbine, first introduced in 2009 and now operating in large numbers on the Thornton Bank wind farm off the Belgian coast.

"We firmly believe the 6MW platform will be the platform for this decade," Giese told Windpower Monthly in an interview at RenewableUK Offshore 2013.

"We believe we can improve it to make it more efficient, but this will still be the right turbine for us for the next few years."

The Repower 6M and its 5M predecessor were both brought to market (the 5M in 2005) under the watch of former CTO Matthias Schubert, who left the firm in March. Shortly afterwards Repower announced its intention to cut 750 jobs from its 2,500-strong workforce and find cost reductions of €100 million.

Giese was distinctly downbeat about the short- and medium-term future for Europe's offshore wind sector.

"At the end of the day we need volume, and what we're seeing right now is a very low number of orders all over Europe," he said.

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