A wind energy OEM and a shipbuilding operating in Newport News, Virg., have agreed to cooperate on offshore wind technology. The agreement calls for the companies to cooperate on the U.S. launch of Gamesa’s first G11X -5.0 MW offshore prototype using Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding’s expertise in heavy load logistics, systems performance, and reliability and the applications of such technologies offshore.
To erect the first G11X-5.0 MW offshore prototype in the U.S., Gamesa and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding are setting up an initial team of as many as 40 engineers in the Hampton Roads, Virginia over the next month. The team will perform preliminary work required to install the offshore prototype by Q4-2012, including site selection, permitting, final construction and installation of the prototype, and testing.
“The alliance with Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding will give us the opportunity to test our technology on a short-term horizon, as well as enhance and strengthen it”, says Gamesa CEO Dirk Matthys. Offshore wind projects totaling more than 5,000 MW have been proposed and are in the planning or development stages in the United States.
The turbine and foundation designed by the two companies addresses the market’s concerns for efficiency of civil engineering infrastructures (the largest investment expense in offshore wind), turbine reliability, low maintenance and service, and minimizing the cost of generating electricity.
New generations of offshore turbines with higher installed capacity will be required to meet the expected rising demand in the offshore wind-energy market in the medium and long term. To this end, Gamesa says it is working on the rollout of another family of offshore turbines with a capacity of 6 to 7 MW, with prototypes potentially available in 2014.