Areva acquires remaining stake in wind power Multibrid1

This acquisition will increase its wind turbines production capacity to address the growth expected in the offshore wind farm industry. This new platform will also include the rotor blade manufacturing division, formerly PN Rotor.

Six M5000 wind turbines have already been installed by Areva in the Alpha Ventus offshore wind farm, built in the North Sea under real offshore conditions, and are currently in the test phase. This wind power pilot project will provide feedback and essential experience to develop offshore wind farms, Areva said.

Anil Srivastava, CEO of Areva Renewables, said: "As major utilities are moving ahead by launching a number of European tenders, this acquisition illustrates Areva’s commitment to play a leading role in the development of the offshore wind energy industry and to establish long-term partnerships with customers."

"AREVA Wind now has a total of 600 MW in large European wind power projects which confirms the market’s trust in our offshore wind turbines", highlighted Felix Debierre, Managing Director of AREVA Wind.

A 51%-owned subsidiary of the group, AREVA Multibrid designs, assembles and commissions offshore wind turbines. Its M5000 wind turbine is the first wind turbine in the world designed using technology specifically developed for marine wind parks.

The 160 staff working on AREVA Multibrid are developing and manufacturing the M5000 offshore wind turbine in Bremerhaven, Germany. This marine environment offers the best possible conditions for the construction, logistics, servicing and maintenance of installations at sea.

The M5000 turbine is the first wind turbine in the world developed exclusively for large offshore wind farms. Its technical innovations are the result of a considerable research. It sets down new standards, adapted to the requirements of mining operations at sea. The M5000 turbine and its foundations rests on a tripod and has obtained gl-Offshore 2005 certification.

To accompany the industrialization of the M5000 technology, the company doubled its work force in 2008 and quadrupled its production capacity. AREVA Multibrid now employs nearly 130 people. With a power of 5 MW, this turbine uses the very latest technology incorporating a hybrid drive system and reduced weight.

Furthermore, each component of the M5000 has been designed to guarantee the maximum service life and reduce maintenance.

PN Rotor, a 100% subsidiary of AREVA, is a manufacturer of high technology platforms for offshore wind energy turbines. The company is based in Stade, Germany and has a workforce of 50. PN Rotor is the exclusive manufacturer of M5000 offshore turbine platforms, developed by AREVA Multibrid.

These 56.5 meter long platforms, specifically designed for the high seas are resistant to the most severe conditions. A pioneer in offshore technology, the group intends to become the leader in this emerging market. Nearly 250 M5000 turbines have been chosen to equip large European offshore wind parks.

In the summer of 2009, AREVA installed the first six M5000 wind turbines of the Alpha Ventus project in the North Sea. This is the first German wind energy park to be constructed out at sea.

The main phases of this pilot project – construction, assembly, operation and connection to the power grid – have provided the Alpha Ventus research committee with initial feedback. This will be used in the development of the future parks.

* The blades are manufactured by a subsidiary of AREVA in Stade, Germany. They are 56.3 m long.
* The main components – foundations, mast segments, nacelles, rotors and blades – were transported to the port of Eemshaven in The Netherlands, near the Alpha Ventus park.
* Once on site, the foundation (weighing more than 700 tonnes) is raised by a self-elevating platform equipped with a crane and transported to the anchoring point. Its structure is in the shape of a tripod, which is a major innovation and a world first.
* The 3 legs of the tripod are "bolted" onto the sea bed by piles 35 to 40 m long. The piles are cemented to the structure of the foundations.
* Once the foundations are in place, the segments of the steel tower, the nacelle and finally the rotor are fitted.

AREVA has signed a contract with Wetfeet Offshore Windenergy to supply 80 M5000 wind turbines of a value of over 800 million Euros for the Global Tech 1 offshore wind farm, as well as maintenance services and operations.

AREVA has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the provision of forty turbines for the Borkum West II wind farm (200 MW) – the second phase of the Alpha Ventus wind farm.

Finally, the group has been chosen for the construction of the first offshore project in France along the Albâtre Coast (105 MW).