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Suzlon to launch low wind regime Class III turbine next year to gain early mover advantage

According to this report, Suzlon Energy is banking on its new turbines, which can generate power at low wind speeds, to gain an early-mover advantage in the segment.

The company, India’s biggest and the world’s third-largest wind turbine maker, will bring out the prototype of its class-III turbine by February 2011, Robin Banerjee, group chief financial officer, told DNA on Tuesday.

The turbine, which no company manufactures yet, will be available in the market by August 2011, according to that report.

“We have already got orders for the turbine,” Banerjee said. He refrained from divulging the size of the orders, but said they were from both emerging and developed economies.

Wind turbine manufacturers, including Suzlon, currently produce class-I and class-II turbines.

Class-I turbines are for sites with an average wind speed of more than 8.5 metres per second (m/sec). Class-II is for wind speeds of 7.5-8.5 m/sec, class-III for 4.5-7.5 m/sec and class-IV for less than 4.5 m/sec.

Class-IV turbines are not economically viable now, Banerjee said, pointing out that 99% of the wind farms globally come up in class-II areas.

Suzlon currently manufactures wind turbines having a blade diameter of 88 metres.

“The new class-III wind turbine has a blade diameter of 97 metres and requires a lot of manual work to make,” said Banerjee.  The new turbine is being developed at Suzlon’s technology centre in Baroda.

The high PLF- high potential wind sites are more or less exhausted in India and as Suzlon has observed most of the current installations are happening in Class-II site and there are a number of Class -III sites that have identified but not utilized yet and this should should help Suzlon move in that area early on giving it a distinct advantage like the one it enjoys now in some of the high potential wind sites in Tamil Nadu and Gujarat. Panchabuta understands that Greenko group that is developing the 65MW-Ratnagiri Wind Power Projects Ltd- with a technology partnership with GE is planning to use GE’s latest XLE class turbines, which are specifically designed for low wind regimes in India and Class-III sites.

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