The wind energy market in the United States has seen a definitive shift toward the development of project sites that exploit the wind energy resource in a lower wind speed regime. These projects are still sited in close proximity to transmission lines for cost-effective energy, according to IntelStor, a cloud-based market intelligence platform for renewable energy.
IntelStor has investigated the potential for each of the top four wind-turbine OEMs in the market to fully exploit the resource potential as follows:
The buying patterns for GE wind turbines in the U.S. indicates that NextEra, Invenergy, and Lincoln Clean Energy have distributed their contracts between the 2.X-116 & 2.X-127. Nevertheless, the market is shifting toward turbines with larger nameplate capacities, so while the 2.X-127 product family remains in demand, there will need to be an evolution towards the 3.X-137 or larger rotor soon.
The 2.5-127 up to 2.8-127 products are poised to remain strong at capturing more of the low-wind regime.
Vestas enjoys a very robust sales potential in the market, finds IntelStor, thanks to their philosophy of achieving more supply chain leverage through a robust product portfolio. The buying patterns for Vestas wind turbines in the U.S. indicates that National Grid and EDP Renewables have distributed their contracts between several models while Enel has concentrated mainly on the V110 2.0.
The new Vestas V138 3.0MW product is likely to be competitive in the low-wind regime of the U.S. market, with higher AEP and a pedigree of reliability.
The introduction of the SG2.9-129 allows Siemens Gamesa to remain competitive in the lower wind speed regime, but they are in need of a 3.XMW product with up to a 145-meter rotor to gain more traction on GE and Vestas, finds IntelStor.
Virtually ever customer of Siemens Gamesa buys more than one product model — demonstrating a brand loyalty. The 2.X-129 platform has yet to see most of their deals publicly announced, but there will be more opportunity to capture deals with such modest penetration in the low wind speed regime.
The opening of the Nordex Acciona blade manufacturing facility in Mexico will help ease the production concerns on the AW125/3XXX and AW140/3XXX products. At 140 meters and 3.XMW, Nordex Acciona brings the most powerful turbine to the low-wind speed range.
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