Preparations for the first offshore test of Alstom’s 6MW Haliade turbine are on schedule, with steel piles having arrived at the Belgian port of Oostende from Spain. An ongoing onshore test in France is also producing good results, Windpower Offshore can report.
Four 62m piles produced by Spain's Idesa arrived at Oostende on 16 November. They are being stored in an area within the renewable energy-themed section of the port, known as Reboostende, which has been leased to Alstom until March 2013. The turbine will be installed for testing at the Belwind 2 wind farm in Belgian waters.
Alstom has also signed a ten-year lease that ensures access to a small amount of office and storage space at Reboostende.
Pre-piling work for the offshore test will begin in December, Alstom has confirmed. The jacket, nacelle, blades and tower are scheduled to arrive in port between mid-December and mid-February.
In March 2012, Alstom unveiled a prototype of its Haliade machine installed at Le Carnet, near the port of Saint Nazaire. It began generating power last June and the company has confirmed to Windpower Offshore that "6MW has already been achieved" for significant periods, thanks to strong and consistent autumn winds.
Alstom is "satisfied" with the turbine’s performance and reports that "first results fit with experimental data". It adds that air gap measurements have yielded "excellent results", which it views as confirmation of the Alstom 'pure torque' concept.
An announcement that full and continuous nominal power has been achieved will be issued soon. Performance measurement for the purposes of type certificate has yet to begin. Alstom is already contracted to supply 240 Haliade turbines to three French offshore wind farms, being developed by an EDF-led consortium. It has begun to construct the first of several production facilities.