SGRE: picking up the turbine pace

The merger of Siemens and Gamesa was never going to be a simple affair. Two major multinational wind-turbine manufacturers pursuing separate markets with different turbine technologies might have made all kinds of sense as a business plan on paper, but threw up all manner of questions about how that could actually be achieved on the production floors and at project sites.

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The features in this issue demonstrate how this has been managed. Our exclusive look under the bonnet of the onshore 5.X platform, and close scrutiny of the technological details behind the latest incarnation of the direct-drive offshore offering, reveal a company that knows exactly where it is heading, on land and in the water.

In both sectors, SGRE has raised the bar to a considerable extent. The potential 6.6MW output of the onshore turbine — and a rotor diameter of 170 metres — takes the technology development in this area to a whole new level. It cannot make comfortable reading for Vestas, GE, Nordex and Enercon.

The 14MW-plus power rating and 222-metre rotor specification of the SG 14-122 are similarly setting new standards offshore. Where does GE’s 12MW Haliade-X stand in the face of this opposition, let alone MHI Vestas, which now looks well behind the curve at 10MW and 174 metres?

We have also had a good look at Aerodyn’s twin-turbine floating concept in this issue. We reported on this first two years ago, when it was still at a fledging stage and wondered if it would go further in the risk-averse offshore atmosphere of the time.

Development funds from utility EnBW have sparked new life into the project. A full-scale prototype is now much closer to realisation than we might have imagined a couple of years ago.

Farewell

We bid goodbye to news editor David Weston with this issue of Windpower Monthly.

David has been with us for six years, and has been fundamental to everything we have done in covering the wind industry in that time.

He is staying in the reporting business, and within the clean-energy sector. We should all be grateful for that. We need people with knowledge, insight, and a nose for a story in this business, and Dave has those qualities in bucketloads.

You normally wish someone the best of luck in these situations. But Dave will require no more than the average share of luck to make his mark. He leaves a huge hole that we will try to fill.

Summer holiday

Windpower Monthly is taking a summer break this year for the magazine. The next issue will be published in August. We shall, of course, be keeping you fully up to date with all developments in the global wind industry at windpowermonthly.com.

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