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Wind turbine manufacturer, Suzlon, is in the “last patch of paper work” before launching its latest turbine — the S-111. Its competitor, Gamesa, has just begun selling its own latest wind turbine — the G-114 — and says it will begin serial production later this year. “The supply chain is being established,” it says. Both companies have said their products would give 20 per cent higher generation over their earlier generation products, at the same wind sites.
Suzlon’s S-111 and Gamesa’s G-114 are instances in the saga of soaring windmill heights. Wind equipment companies are going higher and higher as it is a thumb rule in the wind industry that the higher you go the more wind you capture and generate more electricity. In India, as the sites with the best and second-best wind speeds (10 metres per second and 8.5 mps, average) have all been taken up, turbine manufacturers have to make products for low wind sites. The approach of the industry is: if no windy sites, then go windy heights.
S-111 will be offered at two tower heights, 95 metres, but on the anvil is another version of it that will stand 120 metres tall. The 120-metre version will generate 29 per cent more electricity than the S-97 turbine, at 90-metre configuration. Gamesa’s G-114 will soar 106 metres high. The first of the machines in India “has been successfully commissioned for a leading international power company”, in the Ananthpur district of Andhra Pradesh, sources in Gamesa say. The second is under construction at Chandgarh, Madhya Pradesh.
Suzlon has not sold a S-111 as yet, but Duncan Koerbel, Suzlon group’s Chief Technology Officer, says the company has received some orders. Other wind turbine companies are not far behind. ReGen Powertech, for instance, has said it would launch a 2 MW machine with a hub height of 115 metres in April 2016. (The company recently came up with a 2.8 MW machine, but says it is meant for export only.) India has installed wind power capacity of 23,590 MW today, and the Government’s target is to reach 60,000 MW by 2022. A tall order — that would call for tall machines.
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