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Published on January 30th, 2012 | by Nicholas Brown


Germany’s REpower to Upgrade Blyth Wind Farm with 23.8 MW of New Turbines

January 30th, 2012 by  

REpower 3.XM Wind Turbine. Obtained from REpower.

REpower, a German wind turbine manufacturer plans to upgrade/replace the 20-year-old wind turbines at Blyth Wind Farm with new 3.4-MW turbines. There are nine old 300-kW (0.3 MW) turbines at that power plant (with a combined capacity of 2.7 MW or 2,700 kW) and REpower is to replace them with seven 3.4-MW turbines, turbines which will be the UK’s biggest to date. Seven 3.4-MW turbines would have a combined electricity generation capacity of 23.8 MW, of course, making for a pretty powerful wind farm.

The old turbines are being replaced because their useful life has ended. The first new turbine that will be installed is expected to generate more electricity than all of the old turbines combined due to tremendous improvements in wind turbine technology over the past couple of decades.

Additionally, they are simply larger. Larger wind turbines are more economical, since they are exposed to more and stronger wind. If you increase the height of the tower of an existing wind turbine, it will generate more power. Taller towers do cost more money, but they are clearly worth the investment in the long run.

Rick Eggleston, who is the managing director of REpower UK, said that he was very pleased to have sold the company’s first 3.4-MW turbine in the UK.

“Using larger capacity turbines like this means that onshore wind farms can be even more productive in relation to their size,” he said. “I am also delighted to be continuing our long-established relationship with Hainsford Energy.”

The first turbine is expected to be installed in the middle of the year, and should be commissioned by late summer.

h/t BusinessGreen | Photo Credit: REpower

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About the Author

writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is: Kompulsa.com.

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  • Muchos Huevos

    I am glad these people have been helping themselves with solar and wind thechnology, hope they may rediscover Mr. Tesla’s Power Tower.

  • Mike_branney

    Came across this post and simply had to comment. The net benefit from moving from a tower height of 40m to 80m is much less than half for a fixed rotor size. You will find that the cost of the added tower height is not far off a direct trade-off. It is rotor active area and turbine operation that really dictates energy capture. However, economics comes down to the increase in energy capture against cost. Unfortunately the square cubed power law (Galileo) means that unless you can use some new techniques/technology to get this increase in size you will always have a net decrease in economy! The main benefit in an offshore environment is the fact that you only need one foundation and infrastructure (~40pc of total cost) for said 3.4MW machine compared to 11 smaller machines. As the old adage says, larger is not necessarily better =) – Mike, PhD Wind Energy Doctoral Training Centre, Strathclyde.

    • Ben Courtice

      I would expect the rotor size (by which I presume you mean the overall diameter of the swept area of the blades) would increase significantly with the larger model turbine. Obviously, having a taller tower makes it possible to have much longer blades without coming too close to the ground. Certainly, newer turbines have considerably longer blades than these old ones. I’m not sure why you decided to assume a fixed rotor size?

      Also, a higher turbine catches a better wind stream (less turbulence etc at greater height). And finally, using less turbine foundation/infrastructure per megawatt is also significant in an onshore environment – and the host farmer can continue to use more land for farming, as well as the lower construction costs.

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