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Siemens, Dong, test new offshore turbines

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by Stefan Nicola
Berlin (UPI) Jan 11, 2011
Danish utility Dong Energy has teamed with Siemens Wind Power to test a new generation of offshore wind turbines.

Siemens Wind Power, one of the world's most successful turbine makers, will supply two of its new 6 megawatt, direct-drive offshore turbines plus an updated model of its 3.6 MW turbine with a 393-foot rotor.

The turbines, the latest in Siemens technology, are to be installed at test sites in British and Danish waters, Dong said in a recent statement. The deal is part of an $80 million plan to boost Dong's offshore wind experience and increase sector efficiency. The company didn't give a date when construction would start.

"For Dong Energy, the implementation of new, more efficient, technologies and optimized concepts and processes is an important element in reducing the costs of offshore wind," Dong Chief Executive Officer Anders Eldrup said in a statement.

The deal comes shortly before Siemens reported a major onshore turbine sale to the United States, where Des Moines, Iowa, utility MidAmerican Energy ordered 258 turbines, each with a capacity of 2.3 MW.

Siemens last year announced it would start building its new 6 MW offshore turbines at a factory in Britain starting in 2014.

The new offshore machines are based on Siemens' first direct-drive onshore turbine the company introduced at the European Wind Energy Association conference last March.

Direct-drive machines have only half the number of parts of a geared machine, thus requiring less maintenance. This is key in the difficult offshore sector, where repair ships sometimes can't reach turbines for weeks due to bad weather. The new turbines are aimed at boosting the energy output while decreasing the cost of wind power production at sea, Siemens claims.

The Germans have had a history of close cooperation with Dong. Siemens in 2009 signed an agreement to supply Dong with up to 500 offshore turbines for farms in northern Europe, in a deal that was described as the world's largest in the offshore wind power sector.

Siemens Wind Power is part of the German technology giant's energy sector, which has more than 88,000 employees. The energy division posted a profit of $4.7 billion in fiscal 2010 (ended Sept. 30).

Based in Denmark, Dong Energy is an international procurer, producer, distributor and trader of energy. The company employs around 6,000 people.



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