Siemens secures six turbine orders

- During the last month, Siemens Energy, a division of Siemens AG, has won six wind turbine orders across North America, with a combined value of $900 million. The orders represent a potential power generation capacity of more than 565 megawatts (MW).

Siemens will supply about 250 wind turbines to service these orders, four from firms in the United States and two from firms in Canada. The scope of the orders includes transportation and installation of the turbine units in addition to a two-year maintenance and service contract.

In the U.S., Siemens will supply 44 turbines each to Duke Energy Corporation and Pattern Energy Group for the "Top of the World" project in Wyoming and the "Hatchet Ridge" venture in California, respectively.

Both ventures, with an output potential of 101.2 MW, are slated for completion in 2010. While Duke Energy will receive SWT-2.3-101 turbines, PEG will receive another variant, the SWT-2.3-93 with lesser rotor length.

Siemens will provide 66 units of SWT-2.3-101 wind turbines to the 151.8-MW Keenan II windfarm in Oklahoma, which is run by Competitive Power Ventures, and 26 units of SWT-2.3-93 turbines to the 59.8-MW Windy Flats Extension windfarm, which is run by Cannon Power Corporation. These ventures are slated to be brought online by 2010.

In Canada, Siemens will deliver 40 SWT-2.3-101 turbines and four SWT-2.3-93 turbines to the 101.2-MW Chatham windfarm project of Kruger Energy, while 22 SWT-2.3-101 wind turbines will be supplied to the Gosfield windfarm, which belongs to Brookfield Renewable Power Fund.

With time, wind energy technology has evolved to produce larger turbine structures that are capable of harnessing weaker winds. Siemens also has geared up to exploit the low-wind market, which it predicts will form one-third of the global wind energy market in years to come. The latest model in the 2.3 MW series, the SWT-2.3-101 turbine, has a blade length of 101 meters or 110 yards, and a swept area of 86,111 square feet, making it 17% larger than its predecessor.

Wind energy ventures in the U.S. and Canada are eligible for incentives from their respective governments. The U.S. offers a production tax credit of 21 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of output for the initial 10 years on sale of power generated from a wind energy project. The country also has enforced standards ensuring a fixed share of energy production from renewable energy ventures across many states, thereby promoting clean energy ventures. The U.S. also offers a Business Energy Investment Tax Credit of 30% on small wind turbines with capacities of up to 100 kW. In Canada, the recent Green Energy Act has introduced feed-in tariffs of U.S. 13 cents per kWh and U.S. 18 cents per kWh for onsite and offshore wind energy ventures, respectively.



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