Enercon looks new E126 7.5MW prototype

FRANCE: Enercon is considering adapting its E-126 7.5MW turbine for offshore use, Windpower Monthly has learned.

An E126 under construction
An E126 under construction

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The manufacturer is in discussions with the Le Havre Development Agency to install a prototype with offshore potential at Le Havre, on the French Channel 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 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 - and offshore use.

Areva has already earmarked one of the three spaces 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.

While declining to comment further, Enercon has not denied the statement. (Update 19:00 BST): Enercon has since contacted Windpower Monthly to deny the story. However, it did not explain either Schuster or Mercher's comments.

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, where another 38 are being installed at Noordoostpolder, Netherlands.

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