Canadian wind turbine producer AAER is to deliver two of its forthcoming 2 MW machines to a project under construction at Criel-sur-Mer in northern France at the end of the year. The customer is the Bordeaux-based developer Valorem, with whom AAER set up a joint venture, AAER SAS (67% owned by AAER), last year to import the turbines into France and later to assembly them locally (Windpower monthly, September 2007). The first phase consists of building a blade manufacturing facility plus a research and test centre in Bordeaux, scheduled to be completed next year, followed in 2010 by a nacelle assembly plant producing around 100 turbines a year. By 2011, Valorem expects the facility to employ around 200 people. It will be the first in France manufacturing industrial-scale turbines. The A-2000 machine is to be made under licence from Austria's Windtec, a subsidiary of American Superconductor Corporation. The Windtec license is also being exercised in both China and India. AAER holds a further technology licensing agreement with Germany's Fuhrländer AG. Valorem is not wedded solely to AAER. It is constructing an 8 MW project of four Enercon turbines near Criel on behalf of German utility RWE, due for commissioning early next year. Valorem has so far installed around 100 MW and expects to double this over the next two years, of which it will retain ownership of around 80 MW.
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol