GE Renewable Energy has developed Sierra, an onshore wind turbine platform designed specifically for the North American region.
The 3.0-3.4 MW turbine features a 140-m rotor and at a range of hub heights, including a 500 ft option and includes GE’s two-piece blade GE has today manufactured, installed and commissioned its first site of Sierra turbines, which is operating with 4 points higher capacity factor, compared to GE’s 2-MW platform.
Sierra is built on the legacy of GE’s 2-MW platform, which recently surpassed a 30-GW install base globally. The Sierra platform launched with two prototypes, one in Lubbock, Texas, and one in Kamataka, India, with more than a year of successful run time on each.
“We are absolutely delighted to introduce our Sierra platform to the North America onshore wind industry — the most tested and validated turbine in GE’s history,” said Pat Byrne, CEO of GE’s Onshore Wind business. “This is a turbine that was designed specifically for the future needs and unique challenges of the region, taking into account significant feedback and insights from our customers and wind farm developers.”
Sierra turbines will be manufactured at GE’s Pensacola, Florida manufacturing facility, with a portion of its components manufactured in North America. The 68.7-m two-piece blades are manufactured by both LM Wind Power and TPI.
“GE’s Sierra platform will help our customers to capture even more wind energy while improving economics,” said Jason Cooper, North America CEO for GE’s Onshore Wind business. “We know that wind power is a key element of driving decarbonization and a dependable and affordable energy option, and we’re confident that Sierra will be a key part of the future landscape of wind turbines installed in the U.S. in the coming years.”
GE’s Sierra platform includes a variety of key enhancements, including:
- High capacity factor turbines with reduced pads per site (+4 pts capacity factor with 15% fewer pads needed per 100 MW compared to 2 MW)
- GE’s revolutionary two-piece blade for reduced logistics, improved site installation and improved serviceability
- Simplified machine head & electrical system, built off GE’s 2 MW platform, including single main bearing, single piece down tower assembly (DTA), external pad mount transformer (PMT) and rail-shippable machine head – supporting ease of installation & serviceability
- Optimized 3 & 4 section towers for ease of transport & installation, including 500 ft tip height 81 m tower option for FAA limited sites
- Crane flexibility, optimized for readily-available 600-ton crane class to reduce cost & eliminate crane supply constraints; single blade & full rotor installation compatible
- Variety of features & accessories to support diverse siting challenges, including bat acoustic deterrent, enhanced corrosion, noise reduction mode and more
- Shared pitch bearing from GE’s legacy European platform fleet, with over a half-decade of proven field operation
- Groundbreaking serviceability enhancements, including machine head material handling system with 400kg capacity, crane-less repair technology and rear-entry hub accessibility
News item from GE Renewable Energy
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