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One hundred megawatt a year

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In China, wind farm installation will reach 75-100 MW by the end of 1995, according to a leading Chinese wind energy expert. Already this year 15, 300 kW Nordtank wind turbines from Denmark are to be installed in Inner Mongolia, and another 24 Nordtank turbines installed elsewhere in the People's Republic of China, bringing the total to 39 machines installed this year.

By the end of the century, 650 MW of wind will have been installed, about 100 MW per year from 1995 to the year 2000, said Huizhu Dai, Dean of the Graduate School of the Electric Power Research Institute at the Ministry of Electric Power, speaking to the American Windpower '94 conference in Minneapolis in May. That will mean an $80-100 million investment per year over the next six years, she said.

China has had a power shortage for 23 years. An estimated 120 million people in rural areas are without electricity. By 1993, the country's generating capacity was 178,530 MW with plans for the total installed capacity to reach 310 gigawatts by 2000 to cater to the country's 8-9% economic growth.

Wind is taking root in China, it appears. Several small wind farms have so far been installed -- and Nordtank is setting up an office in Beijing. Several utilities are now starting to be involved in wind, too. And in 1992, Fulin Wind Power Development Corp was established to promote wind farm development by giving credit. But more domestic wind turbine manufacturing is necessary so that one or two joint ventures can be established in the near future. This could save some 20-30% on the cost of imported turbines.

On March 8, 1994, Nanao Wind Farm, US Konderna Co and US Environment Project Co set up a joint venture to install a 30 MW wind farm by the end of 1995, Huizhu Dai told the conference. The first phase of construction needs $44.76 million in financing.

To date, 64 foreign and 14 experimental Chinese wind turbines have been installed in China. Since the county's first wind farm went in the ground at Rongehen in Shandong Province in 1986, a total of 15.69 MW of Danish turbines have been put into operation, mostly supplied by Nordtank and Bonus. In addition, some 2.3 MW of German turbines and 0.6 MW of US turbines have also been installed.

The future looks bright too. This year, 15 Nordtanks are being erected in Zhurehe wind farm in Inner Mongolia, 15 Nordtank 200 kW units at Nanao wind farm in Guangdong province, four Nordtank 300 kW units at Zhanbei wind farm in Heibei Province, and five Nordtank 300 kW turbines at Donggang wind farm in Liaoing Province. And ten Bonus 120 machines, made by Hangzhou Generating Equipment factory under a technology transfer agreement will be made and installed also in Zhurehe in Inner Mongolia.

Looking good

Generally, the installed turbines have operated successfully, although there have been some problems, said Dai. The 13 Bonus turbines at Dabancheng wind farm were connected to the grid in October 1989. By May 19, 1991, their availability was 79% and their capacity factor 34%. There were problems with the hydraulic systems. Five US Windpower machines were grid-connected in December 1989 and had produced 243,470 kWh by June 1990. From July 1990 to August 1991, generation was 860,108 kWh. The main trouble with these machines were with lubrication oil in the pitch system permeating the electromagnetic clutches through the self-pressing oil seals.

Two Swedish Sentic Mark-3 machines, also connected to the grid in 1989, experienced insulation puncturing of the generator windings and broken yawing gear boxes. The whole yawing gear box of the WP-90 fell down from a height of 25 metres. Finally, three Vestas 55/11 turbines, also from Denmark, have operated well, with an average capacity factor of 23%, Huizhu Dai told the conference.

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