Global energy behemoth Siemens has announced it has secured the long-term service contract for Minnesota Power’s Bison Wind Energy Center in North Dakota.
Siemens announced on Thursday that it had signed a long-term agreement with US energy company Minnesota Power to provide service and maintenance to the near-500 MW, 149 D3-platform wind turbines at the Bison Wind Energy Center, in North Dakota.
The Bison Wind Energy Center is made up of Bison 1, 2, 3, and 4, corresponding to wind farms sized at 82 MW, 210 MW, 210 MW, and 205 MW. Siemens will provide 10 years of service and maintenance to the installed D3 85 SWT-3.0-101 direct drive turbines that were installed through the first three phases, as well as 64 SWT-3.2-113 turbines installed at Bison 4.
“Siemens and Minnesota Power have a long history of working together and this is a continuation of our ongoing collaboration,” said Mark Albenze, CEO of Siemens Wind Service and Renewables business. “A committed supporter of renewable energy, Minnesota Power boasts the largest fleet of Siemens’ D3 turbines in the U.S. We look forward to working closely with them to help with the continued reliability, affordability and sustainability of their renewable energy projects.”
Bison 4 was the most recently completed phase of the Bison Wind Energy Center, launched in January of this year, bringing the total capacity of the complex to near-500 MW, which makes it the largest wind energy project in North Dakota.
This is the second recent service agreement announcement worthy of note, following Vestas Wind System’s successful bid to be awarded the service agreement for the 102 MW Coram Wind Project in California. Service agreements such as these will multiply over the next few years, as the existing service agreements that were part and parcel of original installations run out, and major wind energy companies and dedicated service and maintenance companies lobby to pick up new and long-term contracts.
China’s gigantic installed wind capacity is expected to create an operation and maintenance industry worth up to $3 billion annually between 2015 and 2022, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance report published late-2014.
“This market has not attracted much attention up till now, partly because China’s wind capacity only started to grow at world-leading rates late in the last decade and partly because many of the turbines that have been installed have been working through extended warranty periods,” explained Justin Wu, head of Asia research for Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). “But the next few years will see the birth of a multi-billion-dollar O&M business.”
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