Siemens receives its largest photovoltaics contract in Europe

Siemens Energy and the Norwegian utility Statkraft have signed an agreement to build solar plants in Italy. With a total capacity of 40 megawatts (MW), this is the largest PV framework agreement that Siemens has negotiated in Europe to date.

Siemens will perform the engineering, project management, and turnkey construction of the photovoltaic plants. Construction of the first solar plant is expected to begin in spring 2010. After grid connection, scheduled for late that year, the solar plants will supply ecofriendly power to approximately 14,000 Italian households.

“After successful execution of the Casale project for Statkraft, we are continuing our cooperation with the implementation of further solar energy projects in Italy,” said René Umlauft, CEO of the Renewable Energy Division of Siemens Energy. “Siemens has the know-how to handle the development and implementation of large-capacity solar plants for industrial and energy customers.”

“Siemens Energy is a highly competent partner, securing our ability to build several solar parks in parallel and reach the target of commissioning new solar parks before the end of 2010,” said Olav Hetland, senior vice president solar power in Statkraft. “The time schedule is of great importance, due to the uncertainty regarding future support schemes for solar power.”

Photovoltaic plants are part of Siemens’ Environmental Portfolio. In fiscal 2009, revenue from the Portfolio totaled about EUR23 billion, making Siemens the world’s largest supplier of ecofriendly technologies. In the same period, the company’s products and solutions enabled customers to reduce their CO2 emissions by 210 million tons. This amount equals the combined annual CO2 emissions of New York, Tokyo, London and Berlin.

The Siemens Energy Sector is the world’s leading supplier of a complete spectrum of products, services and solutions for the generation, transmission and distribution of power and for the extraction, conversion and transport of oil and gas.

Siemens said on the opening of a new Danish assembly line of wind turbines was a step towards becoming one of the world’s top 3 wind power makers by 2012. Until recently Siemens has ranked as the world’s sixth biggest manufacturer of wind turbines, behind Denmark’s Vestas, US General Electric, Spain’s Gamesa, Germany’s Enercon and India’s Suzlon.

But last month the head of Siemens Wind Power, Andreas Nauen, told that he was confident Siemens overtook Suzlon in 2009 to grab the No. 5 spot. Siemens is already the leader in offshore wind farm. "Siemens Wind Power is well on the way towards the 2012 goal," Nauen said in a statement on Friday. "2010 looks promising compared to the outlook at the same time last year."

Siemens A/S started up the new assembly line for nacelles — the structures at the centre of the turbine comprising the rotor shaft, gearbox and generator — at its Brande, Denmark, plant, the company said. "As a decisive step towards a position among the Top 3 in the global wind turbine market, Siemens Wind Power today inaugurates a whole new assembly line for nacelles for the 2.3 megawatt wind turbine."

The new assembly line would help secure "lean and effective production of wind turbines and, not least, increased production capacity." Since the project began in 2007, it has managed to reduce the throughput time from 36 hours to 19 hours for final assembly of every nacelle produced, and the number of work stations from 18 to eight, Siemens said.

Siemens is also building a nacelle plant in Kansas in the United States and will start making rotor blades and nacelles in China. It also plans to produce in India. The Global Wind Energy Council estimated that the world market for wind turbines installations was worth about 45 billion euros in 2009. Consultancy BTM has estimated that global installed capacity will more than double to 340 gigawatts by 2013.

In fiscal 2009 (ended September 30), the Energy Sector had revenues of approximately EUR25.8 billion and received new orders totaling approximately EUR30 billion and posted a profit of EUR3.3 billion. On September 30, 2009, the Energy Sector had a work force of more than 85,100.