Transactions - DECEMBER 8, 2016

European investor to build Texas wind farm

by Andrea Waitrovich

European manufacturers Nordex and Vestas have won an order from Germany-based E.on to supply 76 wind turbines to the Bruenning’s Breeze project in Willacy County, Texas.

E.on said the project would be its 22nd in the United States, increasing its total installed capacity to more than 3 gigawatts.

The AW125/3000 turbines, from the portfolio acquired by Nordex in its takeover of Acciona Wind Power in 2016, will be installed in 2017, with commissioning expected by the end of the year.

As of July 2016, Nordex Group has installed a total of 2,380 megawatts of wind turbines in the United States, which is seen as one of the most important wind markets in the world. The outlook for wind energy in the United States was strengthened by the long-term extension of the federal Production Tax Credit in late 2015. With this policy in place, wind installations in the U.S. could grow by more than 10 gigawatts per year.

Nordex secured a 243-megawatt wind turbine order for the United States. Nordex will supply 81 of their AW125/3000 wind turbines for a wind farm in Texas.

Installation of the wind turbines is expected to begin in early 2017. Other recent orders for AW125/3000 turbines in Texas include the 300-megawatt Green Pastures wind complex owned by Capital Dynamics, the 165-megawatt Cameron wind farm owned by IKEA and the 93-megawatt San Roman wind farm owned by Acciona.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently started collecting data on wind turbine manufacturers, turbine models and other wind plant attributes in the Annual Electric Generator Report. As of the end of 2015, just three manufacturers — General Electric, Vestas, and Siemens — accounted for 55 gigawatts, or 76 percent, of installed wind generating capacity in the United States. Of the 8.2 gigawatts of total wind capacity installed in 2015, these three companies’ combined share is even greater, representing more than 92 percent of new capacity in 2015.

Two other companies, Gamesa and Mitsubishi, also accounted for significant shares (6 percent and 5 percent, respectively) of U.S. wind turbine capacity that was operating at the end of 2015. However, these two companies did not have a significant amount of new capacity installed in the United States in 2015. After GE, Vestas and Siemens, the next largest shares of installed wind capacity during 2015 were held by Acciona and Nordex, at 6 percent and 2 percent, respectively.

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