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Review of 2017 - part one

WORLDWIDE: The first six months of 2017 pick up where 2016 had left off with further activity in the mergers and acquisition field accompanied by significant job cuts. Windpower Monthly takes a look at the biggest stories in the first half of the year

  • Sweden’s parliamentary energy commission published a roadmap to help the country achieve 100% renewable energy production by 2040 (pic: Vestas)

    Sweden’s parliamentary energy commission published a roadmap to help the country achieve 100% renewable energy production by 2040 (pic: Vestas)

  • MHI Vestas completed an upgrade on its V164 turbine to increase output of 9MW, breaking the 24-hour generation record in the process

    MHI Vestas completed an upgrade on its V164 turbine to increase output of 9MW, breaking the 24-hour generation record in the process

  • Total investments in offshore wind reached an all-time high, with Dong's investment in Hornsea Project One the largest in 2016

    Total investments in offshore wind reached an all-time high, with Dong's investment in Hornsea Project One the largest in 2016

  • The UK Court of Appeal dismissed a claim by Wobben Properties in a patent infringement dispute, including technology used in Siemens’ 6MW turbines

    The UK Court of Appeal dismissed a claim by Wobben Properties in a patent infringement dispute, including technology used in Siemens’ 6MW turbines

  • Siemens Wind Power confirmed it would close its Engesvang blade site in west Denmark due to

    Siemens Wind Power confirmed it would close its Engesvang blade site in west Denmark due to "significant changes in the global wind power market", affecting 430 jobs

  • Saudi Arabia announces a tender for 400MW of wind project and 300MW of solar power

    Saudi Arabia announces a tender for 400MW of wind project and 300MW of solar power

  • Nordex acquired SSP Technology, which designed and manufactured blades for ORE Catapult’s 7MW demonstration turbine at Levenmouth, Scotland (above)

    Nordex acquired SSP Technology, which designed and manufactured blades for ORE Catapult’s 7MW demonstration turbine at Levenmouth, Scotland (above)

  • Vestas revealed a new tower design with cable supports to spread increased load at low-wind sites

    Vestas revealed a new tower design with cable supports to spread increased load at low-wind sites

  • Siemens installed a prototype of its new low-wind SWT-3.15-142 model at the Drantum test site in the west of Denmark

    Siemens installed a prototype of its new low-wind SWT-3.15-142 model at the Drantum test site in the west of Denmark

  • Senvion distances itself from rumours it will close production sites in Trampe and Husum, both in Germany

    Senvion distances itself from rumours it will close production sites in Trampe and Husum, both in Germany

  • The merger between Siemens Wind Power and Gamesa took effect

    The merger between Siemens Wind Power and Gamesa took effect

  • Enercon raised the bar with the latest model in its EP4 platform

    Enercon raised the bar with the latest model in its EP4 platform

  • Vestas further extended its 2MW platform with two new models aimed at low wind markets, the V116-2.0MW and V120-2.0MW

    Vestas further extended its 2MW platform with two new models aimed at low wind markets, the V116-2.0MW and V120-2.0MW

  • Vestas held onto its number one place as the world’s top OEM in Make’s 2016 market analysis

    Vestas held onto its number one place as the world’s top OEM in Make’s 2016 market analysis

  • Developers Dong Energy and EnBW are awarded licences for four projects in Germany’s first competitive auction, with three sites to be built without subsidy

    Developers Dong Energy and EnBW are awarded licences for four projects in Germany’s first competitive auction, with three sites to be built without subsidy

  • Senvion lets slip it is working on a 10MW+ offshore platform at American Wind Energy Association's (AWEA) Windpower 2017 annual conference and exhibition in Anaheim, California

    Senvion lets slip it is working on a 10MW+ offshore platform at American Wind Energy Association's (AWEA) Windpower 2017 annual conference and exhibition in Anaheim, California

  • Turbine manufacturer Enercon’s installations increased year-on-year, but its gross performance dipped, according to managing director Hans-Dieter Kettwig

    Turbine manufacturer Enercon’s installations increased year-on-year, but its gross performance dipped, according to managing director Hans-Dieter Kettwig

  • Wind projects were allocated 99% of the 3GW allocated in Spain’s second renewables auction, with minor player Forestalia taking the lion’s share

    Wind projects were allocated 99% of the 3GW allocated in Spain’s second renewables auction, with minor player Forestalia taking the lion’s share

  • Goldwind acquired an up-to 530MW project in Australia from Origin Energy for A$110 million ($81.6 million)

    Goldwind acquired an up-to 530MW project in Australia from Origin Energy for A$110 million ($81.6 million)

  • Vestas upgraded its 3MW onshore platform with the introduction of three new models, including one with a 4.2MW power mode option

    Vestas upgraded its 3MW onshore platform with the introduction of three new models, including one with a 4.2MW power mode option

  • MHI Vestas launched the world’s most powerful operating turbine, the V164-9.5MW model, in London

    MHI Vestas launched the world’s most powerful operating turbine, the V164-9.5MW model, in London

  • German consultancy aerodyn engineering launched a twin rotor concept with a nameplate capacity of 15MW

    German consultancy aerodyn engineering launched a twin rotor concept with a nameplate capacity of 15MW

  • Adwen announced a restructuring programme amidst an uncertain future as it had no imminent follow-up orders for its staple 5MW model

    Adwen announced a restructuring programme amidst an uncertain future as it had no imminent follow-up orders for its staple 5MW model

  • Vestas was named the chosen supplier for the 1GW capacity won by developer Fortum in the Russian tender earlier in the year

    Vestas was named the chosen supplier for the 1GW capacity won by developer Fortum in the Russian tender earlier in the year

  • Enercon concludes a long-running legal dispute in India, paving the way for 1,200 of its turbines to be reactivated

    Enercon concludes a long-running legal dispute in India, paving the way for 1,200 of its turbines to be reactivated

  • Saudi Arabian group Alfanar Energy enters the Indian market, ordering turbines from Suzlon for a 50MW project

    Saudi Arabian group Alfanar Energy enters the Indian market, ordering turbines from Suzlon for a 50MW project

  • Developer-utility Vattenfall splits its wind business into three sub-units: onshore, offshore and photovoltaic and battery

    Developer-utility Vattenfall splits its wind business into three sub-units: onshore, offshore and photovoltaic and battery

  • India’s second 1GW auction is heavily oversubscribed with bidders offering projects with a total capacity of 2.8GW

    India’s second 1GW auction is heavily oversubscribed with bidders offering projects with a total capacity of 2.8GW

  • Nordex’s 230-metre high turbine produced more than 9GWh in its first year of operation, the manufacturer revealed

    Nordex’s 230-metre high turbine produced more than 9GWh in its first year of operation, the manufacturer revealed

  • Enercon announced its new 3.5MW E-138 EP3 model – the result of the manufacturer’s modular approach to designing turbines

    Enercon announced its new 3.5MW E-138 EP3 model – the result of the manufacturer’s modular approach to designing turbines

  • India’s wind power capacity could be ramped up to 185GW by 2030, according to analysis from the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena)

    India’s wind power capacity could be ramped up to 185GW by 2030, according to analysis from the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena)

  • GE Renewable Energy filed a patent dispute in California against Vestas, over zero-voltage ride-through (ZVRT) technology

    GE Renewable Energy filed a patent dispute in California against Vestas, over zero-voltage ride-through (ZVRT) technology

  • GE Renewable Energy burst onto the 4MW onshore turbine market unveiling a 4.8MW machine, with a 158-metre rotor – one of the largest offered by any manufacturer

    GE Renewable Energy burst onto the 4MW onshore turbine market unveiling a 4.8MW machine, with a 158-metre rotor – one of the largest offered by any manufacturer

  • Vestas confirmed it is working with Elon Musk’s Tesla – the company behind the world’s largest lithium-ion battery – on energy storage solutions

    Vestas confirmed it is working with Elon Musk’s Tesla – the company behind the world’s largest lithium-ion battery – on energy storage solutions

  • Nordex announced €45 million of cuts, including the loss of between 400 and 500 jobs from operations across Europe

    Nordex announced €45 million of cuts, including the loss of between 400 and 500 jobs from operations across Europe

  • Vestas signed an agreement with representatives from Russia’s Ulyanovsk region to set up a manufacturing hub in the southwest of the country

    Vestas signed an agreement with representatives from Russia’s Ulyanovsk region to set up a manufacturing hub in the southwest of the country

  • Former Senvion chief executive Andreas Nauen replaced the outgoing Michael Hannibal as Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy’s offshore wind CEO

    Former Senvion chief executive Andreas Nauen replaced the outgoing Michael Hannibal as Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy’s offshore wind CEO

  • Vattenfall appointed its senior vice president of business area markets, Anna Borg, as the company’s new chief financial officer

    Vattenfall appointed its senior vice president of business area markets, Anna Borg, as the company’s new chief financial officer

  • Tower firm Max Bögl breaks the world record for the world’s tallest turbine with the completion of a 246.5-metre-high machine installed near Stuttgart in southwest Germany

    Tower firm Max Bögl breaks the world record for the world’s tallest turbine with the completion of a 246.5-metre-high machine installed near Stuttgart in southwest Germany

  • Floating demonstration project Floatgen – a 2MW Vestas turbine on Ideol’s ring-shaped concrete platform – is inaugurated in the French port of St-Nazaire

    Floating demonstration project Floatgen – a 2MW Vestas turbine on Ideol’s ring-shaped concrete platform – is inaugurated in the French port of St-Nazaire

  • The world’s first floating wind farm, the 30MW Hywind project, off the coast of Peterhead, Scotland, started delivering electricity to the grid

    The world’s first floating wind farm, the 30MW Hywind project, off the coast of Peterhead, Scotland, started delivering electricity to the grid

  • Siemens Gamesa unveils a new 8MW offshore turbine with a power-mode option to hit 9MW at WindEurope’s conference in Amsterdam

    Siemens Gamesa unveils a new 8MW offshore turbine with a power-mode option to hit 9MW at WindEurope’s conference in Amsterdam

  • Suzlon recorded third-quarter losses in revenue against a backdrop of uncertainty as its domestic Indian market switches to an auction system

    Suzlon recorded third-quarter losses in revenue against a backdrop of uncertainty as its domestic Indian market switches to an auction system

  • Siemens Gamesa announced it would install a new energy storage system that converts wind power output into heat and then stores the surplus energy in stones

    Siemens Gamesa announced it would install a new energy storage system that converts wind power output into heat and then stores the surplus energy in stones

  • Wind projects accounted for nearly 45% of the clean energy capacity awarded in Mexico’s second power auction, with solar taking the about 55%

    Wind projects accounted for nearly 45% of the clean energy capacity awarded in Mexico’s second power auction, with solar taking the about 55%

  • The US wind industry sector survived a tax scare as an agreed bill left intact the production tax credit (PTC) and investment tax credit (ITC) considered crucial for growth

    The US wind industry sector survived a tax scare as an agreed bill left intact the production tax credit (PTC) and investment tax credit (ITC) considered crucial for growth

  • Alberta's first renewable energy auction set a new low for wind energy costs in Canada, with the four winning projects bidding a record-shattering average price of C$0.037/kWh ($0.029/kWh)

    Alberta's first renewable energy auction set a new low for wind energy costs in Canada, with the four winning projects bidding a record-shattering average price of C$0.037/kWh ($0.029/kWh)

  • Battery manufacturer Northvolt and Vestas announced they were working together to develop a lithium-ion platform for wind projects

    Battery manufacturer Northvolt and Vestas announced they were working together to develop a lithium-ion platform for wind projects

  • Energy regulator BNA set a maximum price bid for upcoming 2018’s German auctions above the generation cost in an effort to avoid years of sector stagnation

    Energy regulator BNA set a maximum price bid for upcoming 2018’s German auctions above the generation cost in an effort to avoid years of sector stagnation

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January

Investment in offshore wind reaches a new high, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), at $29.9 billion in 2016, 40% up on the previous year. But total investment in clean energy falls 18% year-on-year to $287.5 billion.

MHI Vestas unveils a 9MW evolution of its V164 offshore turbine. It would grow again within a few months.

The UK Court of Appeal dismisses Wobben Properties’ claim that Siemens infringed a storm-control technology patent developed for Enercon.

February

Nordex takes control of Danish blade designer and manufacturer SSP Technology, putting the acquisition to good use with the announcement of a 4.0-4.5MW turbine with a 149-metre rotor diameter later in the year.

Saudi Arabia announces a tender for 400MW of wind and 300MW of solar PV.

FTI Consulting releases preliminary findings of its Global Wind Market Upgrade 2016, showing Vestas as the world’s top OEM. Previous leader, Goldwind drops to third behind GE as a result of the slowing Chinese market.

Siemens Wind Power confirms it will close its blade factory in Engesvang, west Denmark, due to "significant changes in the global wind-power market". The 430 jobs lost are on top of the 150 to be cut from another of its blade plants in Aalborg in the north of the country.

GE Renewable Energy appoints Anne McEntee to lead its servicing business, while Peter McCabe takes on her old role as onshore wind chief executive.

March

Vestas installs a new tower design using support cables to spread the increased load of taller turbines. The concept enables turbines to be installed on narrower towers, cutting manufacturing and transport costs.

Siemens installs a prototype of its new low-wind SWT-3.15-142 turbine at Drantum, central Denmark. It will be available with hub heights of up to 165 metres for a tip height of around 234 metres.

Nordex CEO Lars Bondo Krogsgaard resigns after the company reduced its forecast for the 2017 and 2018 financial years. Former Acciona Wind Power chief Jose Luis Blanco steps in.

Senvion cuts 780 jobs with production sites at Trampe and Husum in Germany taking most of the losses. The company predicts the global move to competitive tendering will create short-term pricing pressures as it announces a two-year "transition" to adjust to market demands.

April

The long-anticipated merger of Siemens and Gamesa comes into effect, creating a company with 75GW of installed wind capacity across 90 countries, and 27,000 employees. Combined annual revenue stands at €11 billion, and the company has an order backlog worth €21 billion.

Windpower Monthly gets exclusive access to two new product series. Enercon’s 4.2MW EP4 platform, the first of several 4MW-plus onshore turbines now on the market, offers an industry-first 30-year design life. Vestas upgrades its best-selling V110-2MW turbine with rotor diameters of 116 and 120 metres to boost annual energy production.

Developers Dong Energy and EnBW are awarded licences for four projects in Germany’s first competitive auction, with three sites to be built without subsidy. Both companies have operating offshore sites in the country already.

May

Senvion lets slip at the AWEA Windpower 2017 event in California that it is working towards a 10MW-plus offshore wind turbine. No specifics were forthcoming in London, but the Senvion-led Realcoe collaboration would apply for EU funding to speed up development in November.

Wind projects are allocated 2,979MW of the 3GW available in Spain’s second renewables auction, underlining renewed interest in the country’s wind market. All winning bids are made with "full discount" — meaning operators accept zero subsidy and will receive only the wholesale price for electricity generated.

Goldwind acquires the up-to-530MW Stockyard Hill project in Victoria, Australia, from Origin Energy, and agrees to sell the power back to the utility. The PPA is believed to be the largest wind deal to date in Australia.

June

Vestas shifts its 3MW platform into the rapidly growing 4MW class, unveiling three models with a power rating of up to 4.2MW. The low-wind V150 boasts the largest rotor diameter yet seen onshore, while the high-wind V117 takes the turbine into typhoon territory for the first time.

MHI Vestas unveils an upgrade to its V164 offshore turbine, taking rated capacity up to 9.5MW. It is later specified for the UK’s 950MW Moray East and 860MW Triton Knoll projects in the North Sea.

In a first step to align Adwen with its new parent company, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE), two separate legal entities are to be created: Adwen Operations, which will focus on four German projects equipped with its 5MW (formerly Areva) turbines, and French Pipeline, to develop 1.5GW of French offshore sites up to the start of construction. Three months later SGRE stops production plan for Adwen’s 8MW offshore turbine.

Vestas is announced as preferred turbine supplier for 1GW of projects won by developer Fortum in the Russian tender. Fortum will develop its capacity alongside Russian energy company Rusnano, spread across 26 projects between 2018 and 2022.

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