Spanish companies like Gamesa, Iberdrola and Acciona have emerged as dominant players in the global wind market. Last week, they announced a project that will solidify Spain's role as a leader: A 15-MW offshore wind turbine using only Spanish components, labor and research capabilities.
The effort will involve no less than 22 research facilities and 11 companies, led by the turbine designer and manufacturer Gamesa.
The planned 15-MW turbine would dwarf anything on the market or in the works. The largest turbine under development is Clipper's 10-MW offshore machine. American Superconductor is also working on a 10-MW turbine for offshore projects. For onshore applications, Enercon has its E-126, which is rated at 7 MW, up from 6 MW. (The company is reportedly testing an 8-MW onshore turbine).
Don't expect this 15-MW offshore turbine to be spinning anytime soon; the initiative to establish the technical groundwork won't finalize until 2013. If all goes as planned, the companies hope to have the turbine ready for market by 2020.
Other members of the group include: Alstom Wind, Técnicas Reunidas, Ingeteam, Ingeciber, Imatia, Tecnitest Ingenieros and DIgSILENT Ibérica.
Spain has been receiving a lot of bad press for its unsustainable promotion of the solar industry. But the wind industry is still healthy there and Spanish companies are playing a big part in the growth of the U.S. and European markets.
The development of this 15-MW turbine is an opportunity for Spain to flex its renewable-energy muscle on the international stage.