ACCIONA Windpower (AWP), the ACCIONA Group subsidiary dedicated to the design, manufacture and commercialization of wind turbines, has now installed more than 1,000 MW (1 GW) of wind power capacity using concrete tower technology. The company revealed this figure during the opening of the Windaba 2015 trade fair now underway in Cape Town, South Africa.
ACCIONA Windpower’s unique concrete tower technology enables higher hub heights for better energy production as well as lower transportation and maintenance costs. Concrete towers also increase the local content and local economic impact of a wind power project.
AWP’s experience in concrete towers dates back ten years, when the first concrete tower was installed with the AW1500 platform. Since then, AWP has continued to refine and optimize the product and especially the manufacturing process through the development of “mobile factories.” These advances have been deployed globally, making the wind turbines a cost-effective and competitive solution in several markets.
To date, AWP has installed a total of 1,045.5 megawatts (MW) of wind capacity using concrete towers; 924 MW (88%) with 3 MW turbines and the rest with 1.5 MW machines.
By countries, that capacity is shared between Brazil (411 MW), México (225 MW), South Africa (138 MW), Spain (84 MW), Poland (63 MW) and the US (3 MW) all with AW3000 wind turbines, whereas the company has also installed 121.5 MW with the AW1500 platform.
The company has completed additional orders for more than 800 MW of concrete-tower-mounted wind turbines worldwide, which will be installed between 2016 and 2018.
Greater height for higher production
Wind turbines mounted on concrete towers are particularly suitable for sites where greater tower height leads to higher energy production from the machines. ACCIONA Windpower’s 3 MW platform includes models with hub heights of 100, 120 and 137.5 meters for wind turbines with rotor diameters of 100, 116, 125 and 132 meters, while its 1.5 MW platform utilizes 100-meter towers for rotor diameters of 77 and 82 meters.
ACCIONA Windpower has opened two concrete tower production plants for wind turbines in Brazil (one in Rio Grande do Norte and another in Ceará) and is currently preparing a third one in Rio Grande do Sul, which is due to enter service by February 2016. Additionally, AWP owns another plant in Mexico (State of Nuevo León) and is about to finish another one in India (Karnataka).