TÜV NORD issued the statement for GE Renewable Energy's 2.7-116 turbine in accordance with the IEC 61400-22 standard. It is the first time that GE Renewable Energy has sought or received such a certification.
The GE 2.7-116 onshore wind turbine from GE's Onshore Wind business has a diameter of 116 meters, 56.9 meter long rotor blades and a hub height of 90 meters generates an output of 2.7 megawatts. It is primarily designed for areas with strong winds.
“Normally, we certify wind turbines for a period of 20 years” said Mike Wöbbeking, Executive Vice President Renewables at TÜV NORD and General Manager of TÜV NORD EnSys. “The design review for such a long period of time was a real milestone for us as well.”
Sheri Hickok, General Manager - Global Product Development, GE Onshore Wind, added that the certification milestone will both help customers lower their LCOE and de-risk their wind farms, both key considerations at the industry grows and matures.
In issuing the Design Evaluation Conformity Statement, TÜV NORD conducts a thorough evaluation of the design of the wind turbine. This evaluation process includes, for example, the calculation of the turbine loads and the verification of the component design (rotor blade, mechanical components and structures, tower and internals). For the increased service life, the components are subjected to additional loads in line with the extended service life. In addition, ageing and wear as well as potential faults resulting from them are taken into account.
The safety system and the manuals, the electrical system and the manufacturing processes are also evaluated. GE has developed an inspection and replacement concept that includes the safety-relevant components to ensure plant integrity over the entire life cycle, something that required a particularly interdisciplinary review by TÜV NORD.
In other news, GE Renewable Energy has also announced, at the AWEA Windpower Conference, that it has completed over 2,500 repowering upgrades, covering 4 GWs of capacity at 36 different wind farms across the United States, since 2017. The company said it expects to repower an additional 3 GW of units for 11 customers at over 25 new wind farms by the end of 2020, reflecting robust demand for the service.
GE Renewable Energy highlighted its capability to repower non-GE wind turbines, noting that two of the projects are for equipment originally supplied by other equipment manufacturers. Customers who have taken advantage of GE Renewable Energy's repowering services include NextEra, E.On, and MidAmerican Energy, amongst other leading players.
Repowering involves replacing older units with new, higher capacity turbines or retrofitting them with more efficient components – in both cases, significantly increasing wind farm production while extending the wind farm life. On average, for example, wind turbines repowered by GE have seen a 20 percent increase in annual energy production and 1.5 percent availability improvement from pre-repower performance.
“Repowering existing wind turbine technology is a complex endeavor, requiring the ability to blend new technology and equipment with aging machines” said Vikas Anand, GE Renewable Energy's CEO. “Americas Onshore Wind GE has the engineering, design and financing expertise to help our customers do that in a way that enables them to generate the maximum amount of clean, renewable energy from each wind turbine in existence in the most economic manner possible.”
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has estimated that annual US wind repowering investment could grow to $25 billion by 2030. With the largest installed base in the US, GE Renewable Energy is uniquely positioned to serve this sizable market segment. Touting a global installed base of over 60 GW, GE is strongly qualified to address the growing interest in repowering wind turbines worldwide.
With one of the most diverse renewable energy portfolios in the industry, GE Renewable Energy offers customers a wide range of products and services – from onshore and offshore wind equipment to grid solutions and digital services offerings – needed to help them drive down the cost of electricity and bring green electrons to the grid.
GE Renewable Energy is attending AWEA Windpower Conference in Houston, Texas, May 21-23. The company will be exhibiting at booth #1426.