German utility RWE Energie is to co-operate with Tacke Windtechnik in the development of Tacke's megawatt class machine, to have a probable rated capacity of 1.5 MW. The work will fall into RWE Energie's research and development budget but the utility has applied for aid from the government of North Rhine Westfalia and from the Federal Research Ministry. Towards the end of last year RWE pulled out of its co-operation with another German turbine manufacturer, Heidelberg Motors, to develop a 1.2 MW vertical axis machine, a project for which possible EU funding is being renegotiated.
Ventis Energietechnik installed its 500 kW prototype at the Deutsche Wind Energi Institut (DEWI) test station in Wilhelmshaven on March 21. The machine has been bought by DEWI. Ten further Ventis 500 kW units, being built by DFA of Cainsdorf in Zwickau, eastern Germany, will be installed by September at sites in Saxony Anhalt and Schleswig Holstein, says the company's Hugo Schippmann. Although DFA will be the major supplier, Ventis has a second company, Stahlbau Pogger, based in Gelsenkirchen, under contract to build 20, 500 kW turbines. Assuming type certification for the 500 kW is granted, two units will also go to the Czech Republic and a single turbine to a private buyer on Sicily this year. Ventis says sales have been poor recently, not helped by an accident with a 100 kW at Clausthal-Zellerfeld when the nacelle crashed to the ground recently. The connecting bolts between the azimuth bearings and the machine supports apparently failed. In 1994 Ventis sold just ten 100 kW turbines, while the delivery of a further ten to Argentina was postponed to this year. These machines, though, were due to be turning in Pico Truncado (Patagonia) by the end of last month. A further two wind plants, each comprising five 100 kW machines, are also due for installation in Saxony Anhalt.