Wind Power Making Sense? New Wind Farm Project in Europe

Feb. 14, 2013
A Romania-based utility, Energia Verde Ventuno, announces a new 17.5 MW wind power project that will power 7,000 households and utilizes a new anomaly detection software tied to a condition monitoring platform.

The U.S. Wind Power industry has made its presence known in 2013 with the renewal of the wind power tax credit and the recent announcement that six percent of the U.S.'s total electricity generation is accomplished via wind power—an increase of 18-fold since 2000. In Europe, Romania-based Energia Verde Ventuno recently choose seven, 2.5- 103 GE (www.ge.com) wind power turbines to provide power to the Cerna Wind Park. The 2.5-103 wind power turbines feature larger rotors, higher towers and greater hub heights than previous models, resulting in greater power output. The machines for Cerna will feature 103-meter rotors to maximize annual energy production.

In addition to supplying, erecting and commissioning the wind turbines for Bester Generation, the project’s engineering, procurement and construction contractor, GE has signed a full service agreement to support the operation of the Cerna wind farm.The service contract includes GE’s condition monitoring system and anomaly detection software, PulsePOINT.

PulsePOINT software was released for wind farms in 2012 and it collects wind farm and fleet data from hundreds of turbine sensors and key SCADA control parameters. It incorporates GE-proprietary anomaly detection algorithms with SCADA data and GE Bently Nevada condition monitoring equipment. This PulsePOINT technology was developed over the past several years, with an investment of more than $3 million. PulsePOINT is currently operating on data from more than 12,000 wind turbines worldwide, adds GE.  

The Bently Nevada conditioning monitoring equipment has been around for more than 50 years in the oil and gas and power generation industries. However, a new addition to the condition monitoring system is the Scout portable vibration analyzers that offer dual- or four channel measurements for multiple data collection needs, such as machine or route-based data collection.

“Romania has huge potential for wind energy development,” says Mario Costariol, director of Energia Verde Ventuno, a Romanian special purpose company. The wind energy sector will be able to develop jobs and help boost the economy, especially in the poorer rural areas of the country.”

Wind power installations have gained popularity worldwide with turbine equipment costs decreasing. Equipment prices for wind have dropped by more than 21 percent since 2010, and the performance of turbines has risen. This has resulted in a 21 percent decrease in the overall cost of electricity from wind for a typical U.S. project since 2010, a analyst from New Energy Finance said recently in Bloomberg.

Wind still has challenges ahead of it, a recent Frost and Sullivan study on frequency inverters for the wind and solar market shows a soft market in the short term for Europe. The new report finds that frequency inverters in the global solar and wind energy markets earned $6.00 billion and $2.84 billion, respectively, in 2011. Frequency inverters are estimated to rack up $ 14.58 billion in the solar industry and $7.09 billion in the wind industry by 2018.

Related News: Vestas Loses Wind Turbine Market Lead to GE After 12 Years
Denmark-based Vestas is having slow down in sales and according to the comapny, "it's in the middle of two “extremely difficult years." 

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