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AW3000, with the wind in its sails


ACCIONA Windpower's most powerful wind turbine generator is carving itself a niche in the market on its own merits, with nearly 1,000MW's worth of orders already.

ACCIONA Windpower's most powerful wind turbine generator is carving itself a niche in the market on its own merits, with nearly 1,000MW's worth of orders already.

Over recent months, ACCIONA Windpower (AWP), the Group's wind turbine generator (WTG) design, manufacture and sales subsidiary, has brought into service a number of wind farms equipped with the AW3000 wind turbine generator, the most powerful model ever designed by the Company. Major orders for the AW3000 followed and AWP has leveraged the platform to launch a new model that increases production capacity significantly in low-wind locations; in addition, AWP has embarked on an ambitious cost-cutting program that will enhance ACCIONA's WTG specialist's competitiveness. 2104 is set to be a key year for these ambitions.

ACCIONA Windpower provided 3MW wind turbine generators for three wind farms that came into service in 2012: Els Escambrons (48MW), La Castellana (12MW) in Spain and Pioneer Grove (6MW) in the United States. In the first four months of 2013 the 9MW Vilobí II wind farm and the 15MW Barasoain Experimental Area, both in Spain, began operations; they will be followed later on in the year by Poland's Gostyn (33MW) and two experimental wind farms in Spain, namely Vedadillo (9MW) and Villanueva (6MW). All these facilities are ACCIONA-owned.

Another facility that is set to come into operation in 2013 is the 120MW Atlántica wind farm, owned by the Brazilian electrical utility CPFL, with a total 120MW installed capacity. All in all, between them 2012 and 2013 will have seen the start-up of 258MW of installed capacity worldwide using AW3000 wind.

New orders from Canada, South Africa and Brazil

Over the past few months, ACCIONA Windpower has signed a number of new delivery contracts for its 3MW wind turbine generator and these are helping AWP to significantly strengthen its position in the market.

In 2012 AWP agreed to deliver 10 WTGs (30MW in all) for the Hermanville wind farm on Prince Edward Island (off Canada's Atlantic coast). The assembly of this PEI Energy Corporation-owned facility is slated for the second half of 2013.

ACCIONA Windpower will also supply 46 WTGs (138MW) for South Africa's Gouda wind farm, a facility owned by an ACCIONA Energy subsidiary set up in that country in conjunction with Aveng, a local group.

In the first quarter of 2013 a contract was signed with three companies in Nova Scotia (Canada) for 34 WTGs (102MW) for a wind farm in the province.

In the same quarter the Company reached a deal for 210MW for two wind farms in Brazil. In the same period, the Company reached a provisional purchase agreement for 250MW in Mexico.

So far then at end-April 2013, AWP has delivered or has orders for its AW3000 wind turbine generator totalling 990MW.

Of that figure, 90% is for the international market and 72% is for orders from third party customers.

The latest member of the family: A new model for low wind zones

The AW3000's 125-meter diameter rotor optimizes energy capture

ACCIONA Windpower has launched a new, 125-meter diameter for its AW3000 wind turbine generator that improves the machine's performance in moderate wind locations and broadening the Company's offering in that particular market segment. These features combine with a 120-meter concrete tower, making the AW 125/3000 the best solution for low wind (known in industry jargon as "IEC Class III").

By capturing wind energy with a blade sweep area of 12,305m2, the new turbine delivers a high level of energy production in this kind of locations.

"The ground-breaking new rotor and the AW3000 platform's proven reliability make for a winning combination" says Patxi Landa, ACCIONA Windpower Global Business Development Manager, who goes on to explain that "it's a magnificent piece of machinery for low wind conditions. With the new AW 125/3000, ACCIONA offers a range of rotors that deliver maximum production at reduced energy costs in just about any location".

Available as of 2014

In 2013 ACCIONA Windpower will complete the certification process for the new rotor and the new blades will be installed at the end of this year. The new model will be available for distribution as of 2014.

ACCIONA Windpower offers two product lines: the AW3000 wind turbine generator (3MW, with rotor diameters of 100, 109, 116 and 125 meters), and the AW1500 WTG (1.5MW, with rotor diameters of 70, 77 and 82 meters).

Both stand on steel or concrete towers; the latter are available in heights of 100 and 120 meters.

Our first manufacturing plant in Brazil to service an emerging market

In March 2013, ACCIONA Windpower opened its first plant in Brazil. The facility is made up of an assembly building for wind turbine generator hubs, i.e. the component that joins the blades to the WTG's drivetrain and passes on to the drivetrain the kinetic energy obtained by the blades.

The plant, located in Simões Filho (Bahía state), will turn out hubs for all ACCIONA Windpower WTGs installed in Brazil. It has a production capacity of 135 units/year and employs 30 people onsite, as well as a further 180 in component supplier companies

Setting up the Company in Brazil has led to 500 new jobs in local blade- and tower manufacturing outfits. These jobs are at the windfarm sites themselves where the concrete sections for the WTG towers are made.

This industrial activity, which has generated 700 associated jobs in Brazil, will help make ACCIONA Windpower more competitive in the Brazilian market.

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