Spain's first factory for production of direct drive turbines

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Spanish industrial engineering firm MTorres has inaugurated the country's first factory for series production of direct drive wind turbines with synchronous generators. The facility was built for nearly EUR 6.4 million in Ólvega, a district in the Soria province of Castile and León. A second phase, costing EUR 2.1 million, is already underway and will ramp up production capacity of the 1.65 MW machine to 100 units a year. The company's Eduardo Torres says Ólvega will produce 25 turbines over 2006, "mainly for developments in which MTorres has a non-majority stake." Over 2007, 70 turbines will be turned out, half going to third-party developments. "We are approaching things step by step," says Torres. "Our focus is not on cornering market share but on producing the best possible machine." Torres says the turbine's synchronous generation and power electronics translate to "optimum capability" both for supporting transient voltage dips on the grid and providing power to aid system recovery after voltage collapse -- demands made of wind turbines in Spain's new grid code. Wind turbines with gearboxes and asynchronous generators -- the vast majority of those operating in Spain -- will have to be modified to comply with the code. MTorres has invested EUR 25 million in developing the turbine from scratch over the past four years and has 13 prototypes turning in its home region of Navarra in the north of Spain.

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