Spain's Gamesa will install its prototype offshore wind turbine off the Canary Islands instead of Virginia, citing slow growth in US offshore windfarm market
This offshore prototype will be the first to be installed in Spain, Gamesa having chosen Arinaga Quay in Gran Canary Island: a decision driven by technical and wind resource considerations, offshore market trends and investment return criteria.
The installation of Gamesa's first offshore prototype in Europe freezes the offshore prototype project in Virginia (United States), in Cape Charles. The milestone to design a competitive offshore turbine in the R&D centre in Virginia has been fulfilled, but the prospects for the U.S. offshore market and its regulatory conditions in this segment so far do not justify the next step, the installation of a prototype in the U.S.
As a result, the Offshore Wind Technology Centre, opened jointly with Newport News Shipbuilding, will wind down at the end of the year as the design of the G11X- 5.0 MW offshore platform is completed.
Installation of the Arinaga Quay wind turbine is expected to begin in Q2 2013, with a view to achieving certification in the following months, to permit the installations of the pre-series turbines, towards the end of 2013 or early 2014, The offshore prototype has a nominal capacity of 5 MW and a 128-meter rotor.
Gamesa say it is poised to play a leading role in the global offshore segment: it is making progress in parallel on establishing its manufacturing base in the UK, where it is in talks with Forth Ports at Leith (Scotland) for the installation of two manufacturing plants and port logistics and maintenance services.
The U.S. onshore market remains a strategic cornerstone of Gamesa's business and investment plans.