Two new turbines set for the market -- German vertical integration

German wind engineering company WindForce is behind the development of two new turbines, one a 900 kW unit to be produced by German renewables company Conergy, the other a 1.25 MW machine to be manufactured by Innovative Wind Power (IWP), based in Bremerhaven, Germany, but part of Dubai's Innovative Energy Group. WindForce is responsible for the engineering and concept designs of both products, as well as the technology transfer.

"Neither Conergy nor IWP are primarily aiming at the German or central European market but rather at emerging markets where it's the cost of energy that counts," says WindForce's Jens-Thomas Wernicke. "The components for the smaller machines are available from around the world including India, China, Brazil and the US whereas getting components to build say 100, 2 MW machines within a year wouldn't be possible."

The first machine expected to market is Conergy's 900 kW PowerWind 56 unit, says Wernicke. A prototype has recently been installed at Bremerhaven for testing. Certification by the Deutsches Wind-Energie Institut is expected before the end of the year and testing will be complete by the spring, he adds. Decisions on the next step will be taken after the test phase is over.

"We decided on the one megawatt size because entering the market with a proven concept and long term experience is easier and availability of the key components is higher than for large megawatt machines," says Conergy's Klaus Pötter. Moreover, the company's wind project development subsidiary, Epuron, provides a significant sales pipeline for the machine with a number of onshore projects planned for which "the one megawatt size is often the best and most economic solution," he says.

By May, Epuron had developed and financed 235 MW of wind capacity. It has a project pipeline of at least 600 MW spread across France, Italy, Australia, India, Turkey and the US. "We are currently developing international wind stations faster than we can get delivery from the leading manufacturers," says Epuron's Joachim Müller. "With Conergy wind turbines in our portfolio we can be our own customer and realise our projects faster and more economically."

Meanwhile, IWP plans to install two prototypes of its 1.25 MW machine in March, one in Bremerhaven, the other 25 kilometres west of Istanbul in Turkey. It already has plans to produce 100 turbines in 2008 at its facilities in Bremerhaven, for target markets Pakistan and Turkey. Forty units are destined for a site 40 kilometres east of Pakistan's largest city, Karachi, another 39 units will head for two projects at sites along Turkey's Aegean coast, while around ten turbines are planned for a pilot project in the US, possibly California. Further turbines will be destined for Turkey if a planned joint venture with Turcas Elektrik Uretim, a subsidiary of Turcas Petrol, takes off. The plan is to develop 200 MW of wind projects, says IWP's Serkan Kadi, who was previously with GE Energy's wind unit. "This would be a package deal where we offer both the wind project development and the turbines," he says.