Review of 2017 - part two

WORLDWIDE: The second half 2017 was difficult for many of the major OEMs with a drop off in the Indian market a key factor. Windpower Monthly takes a look at this trend and the other big stories from the second half of 2017.

  • 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

of

Read the first half of the Review of 2017 here.

July

German manufacturer Enercon is set to refurbish up to 1,200 turbines in India, following the conclusion of a decade-long legal dispute with former joint venture Wind World India.

The firm says some 860MW of its turbines could be re-activated and updated after its ten-year absence from the world's fourth largest market, where Enercon has roughly 6,700 turbines installed.

Elsewhere in India, the country's 1GW power auction received 2.8GW of bids, following the success of its first auction earlier in the year.

The results, announced later in October, will see prices fall to a new low of INR 2.64/kWh ($0.04/kWh).

In Europe, developer Vattenfall has a reshuffle of its wind unit. The business area is split in three; onshore, offshore, and solar PV with storage.

Vattenfall Wind CEO Gunnar Groeblar said the move 'creates a lean business model...that can respond to different markets'.

Also this month, Vattenfall reports a 75% increase of its underlying profit in H1 to SEK1.5 billion (€110 million).

Nordex's record-breaking 230-metre high turbine in southwest Germany produces over 9GWh of electricity in its first year

August

In a Windpower Monthly exclusive, Enercon unveils a new modular approach it is taking with its 3MW platform.

The move is in response to the shift to auction-based systems around the world forcing margins to be compressed, meaning Enercon was losing out to cheaper rivals.

All future Enercon turbines will be based on the new design approach and will meet IEC wind class demands exactly, rather than exceed them, the manufacturer says.

Rival manufacturer Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) announces it is making up to 600 further job cuts at its blade plant in Aalborg.

The move comes just eight months after an initial 150 jobs were cut at the site in February — prior to Siemens' merger with Gamesa.

Also this month, other rival OEMs go to court over a potential patent infringement. GE Renewable Energy files a dispute in California claiming market leader Vestas was in breach of its zero voltage ride through (ZVRT) technology patent.

Vestas' offshore wind joint venture also suffers a tricky August. MHI Vestas launched an investigation after its 9.5MW prototype in Østerild, Denmark, catches fire.

The ensuing examination in to the cause of the fire finds a component 'damaged during installation' was to blame. MHI Vestas said the piece was "unique to a prototype environment" and said the roll-out of the turbine would not be affected.

Finally, Gamesa also suffers a fire at a 13-year-old turbine in Japan. Several local news outlets show a burned-out nacelle.

September

GE Renewable Energy continues the year's big technological trend, with the launch of a new 4.8MW onshore turbine for low- to medium-wind markets like Germany, the Netherlands, Turkey, Chile and Australia.

The new model features a 158-metre rotor and will offer the industry's largest annual energy production (AEP), GE claims.

Meanwhile, Vestas confirms it is working with Elon Musk's Tesla on energy storage solutions. Vestas is looking to increase its involvement in integrating wind and storage solutions and has been working on a number of small-scale projects over recent years.

The year is shaping up to be a difficult one for the leading manufacturers, and Nordex is not an exception. It announces a €45 million cost-cutting programme, which would also see up to 500 jobs lost, mostly in Germany.

Vestas, meanwhile, signs a deal to set up a manufacturing hub in Russia, on the back of potentially winning a 1GW deal with Finnish developer Fortum and ints joint venture partner Rusnano, which won the majority of capacity in June's 1.65GW tender.

The Danish manufacturer will also help set up training programmes and aid the transfer of skills and knowledge, according to reports.

October

Andreas Nauen is back as a leading light in a major OEM. The former Senvion CEO is appointed to lead SGRE's offshore division, following the departure of Michael Hannibal.

In a small reshuffle at the top of the world's newest manufacturer, driven by struggling financial results — earlier this month the manufacturer downgraded its 2017 forecast — SGRE also appointed Miguel Angel Lopez as SGRE chief financial officer, replacing Andrew Hall, while Juergen Bartl replaces Jose Antonio Cortajarena as general secretary.

Changes are afoot elsewhere, as Vattenfall names its new CFO following the departure Stefan Dohler to EWE.

Anna Borg, its senior vice president of business area markets will replace Dohler from 1 November.

Max Bögl has broken its own record for the tallest onshore turbine in the world, completing a 246.5-metre machine in Germany.

The GE 3.4MW turbine, installed near Stuttgart, southwest Germany, incorporates a 40-metre high water reservoir at the base of the tower as part of a pumped-hydro storage solutions.

The turbine surpasses the 230-metre high Nordex turbine, also featuring a Max Bögl tower installed last year.

October is also the month the floating wind industry is born. Statoil's Hywind Scotland project begins production, while Ideol inaugurated its ring-shaped pool-dampening floater, topped with a Vestas 2MW turbine, in the port of St-Nazaire, France.

Ideol CEO Paul de la Guérivière describes the moment as a "turning point" in the floating wind sector.

"Knowing that up to 80% of the offshore wind resources are in deep waters (60 metres-plus) where traditional bottom fixed installations are not suitable, floating offshore wind is expected to play a significant role in the growth of offshore wind going forward," Statoil's New Energies Solutions executive vice president Irene Rummelhof says.

November

SGRE unveils its new offshore wind turbine at WindEurope's conference and exhibition in Amsterdam.

The 8MW direct-drive model is equipped with a 167-metre rotor and has a power-mode option to increase output to 9MW. It is the result of a continuous evolution of the 6.0-154 model launched in 2011.

Also at the show, SGRE launches a new 4MW geared platform with one model per wind speed class.

Meanwhile, Chinese manufacturer Envision reveals three new onshore models including a 4.5MW machine.

Also this month, Windpower Monthly takes a look at some of the industry's most influential and interesting people from the last 12 months.

The list reflects the growing attention shown to storage and flexible grid solutions in the last 12 months.

Leading Indian manufacturer Suzlon showcases a textbook reverse in fortune for many of the industry's turbine manufacturers by recording a 56% year-on-year fall in income in Q3, due to the market uncertainty in the subcontinent.

The manufacturer reported a profit of INR 681 million in the third quarter — a 72.07% reduction year-on-year — but was only able to do so after filing for voluntary liquidation of its Brazilian operations in July.

December

Germany's energy regulator BNetzA sets a maximum bid price of €63/MWh for onshore wind auctions in 2018, after this year's tenders pushed wind prices to an average below €50/MWh.

According to the original renewable energy act in 2017, the maximum price for the 2018 auctions would be set by the results of this year's tenders.

BNetzA is concerned the low results this year would mean a lack of interest in 2018 auction as prices were below that of current generation costs.

By putting in a higher maximum price, the regulator hopes to attract competition to the auction.

Eight wind farms with an installed capacity of almost 666MW in Argentina are awarded power purchase agreements (PPA) in the second round of auctions to supply renewable power to regulated clients.

The contracts averaged a price of $41.23/MWh, down from $53.34/MWh in the previous round. The lowest contracted price is $37.30/MWh, and the highest $46.67/MWh.

The result means wind energy is once again the cheapest technology in Argentina, beating 12 solar PV projects, which achieved an average price of $43.46/MWh.

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