Gamesa and Northrop Grumman Join Forces in Offshore Wind

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Gamesa and the Newport News Shipbuilding operations of Northrop Grumman Corporation have signed an agreement to work together on offshore wind technology. The agreement calls for the companies to cooperate on the launch of Gamesa’s first G11X-5.0 MW offshore prototype in the United States, using Gamesa’s multi-megawatt technology and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding’s broad experience in challenging marine environments.

Gamesa is currently designing and developing a G11X-5.0 MW offshore Wind Turbine (WTG) specifically for the marine environment and built upon the technologies already extensively tested and validated in the G10X-4.5 MW platform. Gamesa is teaming with Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding-Newport News to utilize their proven expertise in heavy load logistics, systems performance and reliability, and the applications of such technologies in the marine environment.

To install in the G11X-5.0 MW offshore prototype Gamesa and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding are setting up an initial team of as many as 40 engineers in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. This highly skilled team will perform all of the preliminary work required to install the prototype by Q4-2012, including site selection, permitting, final construction and installation of the prototype, and testing.

“Gamesa has said before that it intends to play a significant role in the offshore market to ensure that it can tap the demand generated in the Northern European market, specifically the United Kingdom, starting in 2015, as well in the United States,” according to Dirk Matthys, CEO of Gamesa in the U.S. “Our alliance with Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding will give us the opportunity to test our technology on a short-term horizon, as well as to enhance and strengthen it, thanks to the skills and experience offered by a global leader in naval structures. This partnership further demonstrates Gamesa’s continuing commitment to and expansion in the North American market with both land and sea-based wind turbine technology.”

This announcement comes as federal and state governments intensify their focus on developing offshore wind energy. Offshore wind projects totaling more than 5,000 megawatts have been proposed and are in the planning or development stages in the United States. The turbine and foundation systems created by Gamesa and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding address the market’s main concerns, namely efficiency of civil engineering infrastructures—the number-one investment expense in offshore wind—turbine reliability, low maintenance and servicing requirements, and minimizing the cost of generating electricity.

New generations of offshore turbine systems offering higher installed capacity will be required in order to meet the expected rising demand in the offshore wind energy market in the medium and long term. To this end Gamesa is already working on the rollout of another family of offshore turbines with a capacity of 6-7 MW, with a pre-series potentially available in 2014. More information is available by going to www.gamesacorp.com or www.northropgrumman.com.