Gamesa shelves US offshore plans

With its decision to erect the prototypes of its new offshore turbine in Spain, instead of in the USA as originally planned, Spanish turbine manufacturer Gamesa has turned its back on the US offshore market, not least as a consequence of the sluggish market development across the Atlantic. The first G128-5.0 is now to be installed – onshore – at Arinaga on Gran Canaria in the second quarter of 2013. The first offshore installations are expected to follow at the end of 2013 or early in 2014.

The location Cape Charles in Virginia has thus become superfluous for Gamesa. It was here that the G128-5.0 was developed with a nominal output of 5 MW and a rotor diameter of 128 m. The outlook for the US offshore market and the current regulatory framework, however, no longer justify local installation of the prototype, as Gamesa explained in a press release. The company will now be closing its Offshore Wind Technology Center in Cape Charles at the end of the year.

“The offshore wind power market is developing at a firm pace. However, demand is being tempered by economic and financial factors and the difficulties being encountered by developers in accessing credit. The authorities are firmly committed to the development of offshore wind power in major markets such as the UK, Germany, France and China. Based upon the current situation, the US market appears to be set to develop later than others. Regional and country-specific market conditions warrant an even more rational decision-making process than ever, from both the technology and financial standpoints,” said Jorge Calvet, chairman and CEO of Gamesa. The company is nevertheless careful to emphasise that the US onshore market remains a strategic pillar of its business and investment plans.

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