Alstom, LM Wind Power develop wind turbine blade

The new blade is a unique development designed specifically for Alstom's next generation 6 MW offshore wind turbine

Paris, February 8, 2011 — Power generation equipment and services company Alstom, and LM Wind Power, a wind turbine blade supplier, have entered a strategic partnership to develop a large wind turbine blade designed for use with offshore wind turbines.

The new blade is a unique development designed specifically for Alstom's next generation 6 MW offshore wind turbine.

Development of the blade will require more than 20,000 hours of work by LM Wind Power’s specialist teams focusing especially on aerodynamics, structural design, and production processes of this giant.

The use of specifically developed material compounds will enable LM Wind Power to maximize strength and durability while producing an exceptionally light blade.

Furthermore, it will feature a structural design specifically tailored for Alstom’s turbine, as well as LM Wind Power’s proprietary aerodynamic profiles based on its latest GloBlade, which offers an additional 4-5 percent of annual energy production compared to standard designs.

The prototype blades will be produced in LM Wind Power’s Danish factory in Lunderskov and will be ready for installation at Alstom prototype sites in Europe to start testing during the winter of 2011.

LM Wind Power is one of the pioneers in offshore wind. Its first blades installed offshore have been operating since 1991 at the world’s first offshore wind farm, Vindeby, Denmark. Since 2004, LM Wind Power has supplied its 61.5-meter long blades for offshore.

One example is the Beatrice Wind Farm Demonstrator project 25 kilometers off the coast of Scotland. These blades are currently the world’s longest in serial production and have been installed in offshore wind farms across Europe, where they achieve very high availability.

Alstom’s 6 MW turbine has been optimized for the UK’s Crown Estate Round 3 and other North Sea markets. Two prototypes will be installed in 2011 and 2012, a pre-series in 2013 (the final rollout step before full commercialization), and series production in 2014.

In January Alstom and EDF Energies Nouvelles announced that, using this turbine, they would bid jointly for projects under the recently launched 3 GW French offshore wind tender.

The turbine incorporates leading edge technologies to meet the challenges of the tough marine environment and bring down the cost of energy (COE). These include the turbine’s very large rotor diameter and 6 MW power output for higher energy output.

High yield helps offset wind farm investment and operating costs, lowering COE. The turbine's weight has also been optimized to reduce installation and infrastructure costs.

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