The giant Norwegian manufacturer of hydro turbines, Kvaerner, will produce a new prototype for a commercial 3 MW wind turbine within two years, says Edgar Fossheim from the company. Kvaerner manufactured the 2 MW Näsudden I wind turbine in the early 1980s and a decade later the 3 MW Näsudden II and its twin, Aeolus, sited in Germany. The second generation 3 MW turbines operated with variable speed control. Kvaerner also developed a concept for a more commercially viable 3 MW turbine, Näsudden III, but the expected order to build it under the Swedish research and development program failed to come through. Vattenfall and energy agency Nutek instead opted to support development of a flexible concept by Nordic Windpower (Windpower Monthly, August 1997). The Kvaerner wind turbines were previously developed by the company's Swedish branch, Kvaerner Turbin AB, but Kvaerner has since moved its technical development to Oslo. The new 3 MW prototype will be installed in Norway and possible series production will be from a Norwegian factory, says Fossheim. "During the last two years, wind power has become a commercially interesting option in many parts of the world and our company has extensive experience with turbines in the three megawatt class," he says, adding that the prototypes "in fact work very well." He says Kvaerner is now working to produce power at competitive costs from the jumbo machines. "We are down to 35 öre per kilowatt hour [$0.05] but expect to lower the cost further."
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