Siemens goes big on wind

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Construction of the Netherlands' tallest wind turbine has begun at the site of Siemens Nederland's manufacturing facility in Zoetermeer near the Hague. The 1.5 MW Tacke machine will have a hub height of 85 metres and rotor diameter of 70 metres, giving it a total height of 120 metres - some 20 metres higher than any other wind turbine in the Netherlands, says the company's Bernard Bos.

Expected to go into production later this year, output from the Tacke TW1.5s should be sufficient to power some 1100 homes. The project's cost has not been disclosed but it is being jointly financed by "Zoeterwind," a concern formed by two private investors from Zoetermeer, and Siemens Nederland, the project developer and supplier of the turbine, transformers and electrical infrastructure. Local energy company Delfland will buy the power and the associated Green Labels for use in its green electricity marketing. Although unwilling to disclose the price to be paid for the Green Labels, Bos describes it as "very satisfactory."

For Siemens Nederland the project has a double significance, says Bos. Apart from the purely economic benefits, the turbine - clearly visible from the nearby A12 motorway - will provide passing motorists and Siemens clients with a clear indication of Siemens commitment to renewable energy in general and wind in particular: "It is a kind of advertisement, if you like," he adds.

To further exploit the turbine's public relations potential, Siemens is currently looking at ways of installing a visitors' viewing platform at the top of the tower to provide a unique perspective on the Dutch landscape.

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