GE Renewable Energy introduced a new onshore wind-turbine platform designed specifically for North America installation. The Sierra series 3.0- to 3.4-MW turbines incorporate a 140-meter rotor and are available with a variety of hub heights, including a 500-ft option. The design also includes GE’s two-piece blade, designed to improve logistics, installation, and serviceability.
GE will manufacture Sierra turbines at its Pensacola, Fla., plant, a significant portion of its components manufactured in North America. The 68.7-m, two-piece blades are manufactured by GE’s LM Wind Power subsidiary and TPI Composites.
GE reported it has logged more than 1 GW of orders for the turbine platform.
Among the design advantages of the new turbines, GE noted Sierra’s high-capacity factor (+4 pts capacity factor with 15% less pads needed per 100 MW, compared to 2-MW turbine); a two-piece blade for reduced logistics, improved site installation and improved serviceability; simplified machine head and electrical system, based on GE’s 2-MW platform; and optimized three- and four-section towers for ease of transport and installation.
The Sierra platform was launched with two prototypes, one in Lubbock, TX and one in India, with more than a year of successful run time on each. Those first Sierra turbines exceeded 98% availability faster than GE’s previous onshore platform launches to date, and are operating with a four points higher capacity factor than GE’s 2 MW platform.
Pat Byrne, CEO for GE’s Onshore Wind business, the Sierra series, “the most tested and validated turbine in GE’s history.”
Byrne continued: “This is a turbine that was designed specifically for the future needs and unique challenges of the (North American) region, taking into account significant feedback and insights from our customers and wind farm developers. From siting to execution and operation, Sierra offers our customers continued quality and stability.”