Alstom – First wind energy project in USA

Adams and Danielson wind farm plants in Minnesota will generate up to 40 MW of wind power. Alstom announced the start of commercial operation of the Adams and Danielson wind power farms in Meeker County, Minnesota (United States). The wind energy projects, which are the result of a contract worth approximately $60 million, began commercial operation on March 9 2011.

Alstom’s entry into the North American wind energy market builds on the company’s broad global experience in wind power. Worldwide, Alstom has installed or is installing over 2,100 wind turbines producing over 2,700 MW on over 110 wind farm plants in Spain, France, Portugal, Italy, the UK, Turkey, Brazil, India and Japan.

Each of the two wind farms uses 12 Alstom ECO 86 wind turbines to generate approximately 20 MW of electricity, for a combined total of 24 turbines and 40 MW of capacity. The contract includes supply, transportation, installation support, commissioning, and five years of turbine maintenance services. The project was developed by Juhl Wind Inc. and financed by JPM Capital Corporation, a subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase & Company.

The wind farms were constructed with zero Lost-Time Accidents during demanding winter weather. GL Garrad Hassan, the world’s largest independent renewable energy consultancy, has reviewed and followed all aspects of the product development as well as the installation and commissioning. GL Garrad Hassan has provided independent engineering services for more wind farm development than any other organization globally.

Alstom expanded its presence in the North American wind market in May 2010 by announcing the construction of a 115,000 square foot wind turbine nacelle assembly facility in Amarillo, Texas. Alstom also has strategic research partnerships with both the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado, and the National Institute of Renewable Energy (NIRE) in Lubbock, Texas, that will enable the company to integrate its proven technology with the North American power grid. NIRE was co-founded by Texas Tech University.

“Starting commercial operation of our first wind project in North America is an important milestone for our business,” said Andy Geissbuehler, Vice President and General Manager Alstom Wind Business North America. “The combination of this project, our strategic research partnerships with NREL and NIRE, and the ongoing construction of our wind turbine assembly facility in Amarillo give us a solid foothold in the North American wind power market.”
“We are honored to be part of the U.S. wind market entry of such an established company like Alstom Power. We are very pleased with the startup and initial performance of the Alstom turbines at the Adams and Danielson sites and expect a solid long-term operation,” said Dan Juhl, CEO Juhl Wind Inc.

Alstom’s offering includes the ECO 80/86 wind turbine platform and the ECO 100/110 wind turbine platform to accommodate the differing wind regimes across North America. All of Alstom’s wind power offerings feature the ALSTOM PURE TORQUE ™ design, a unique rotor support concept protecting the drive train components from deflection loads, delivering higher reliability, higher operational availability, and lower maintenance costs.