WindFarm Estinnes Takes Wind Power to a New Scale

At the end of May, Renewable Energy World’s Eize de Vries was invited to Belgium to view the construction of a wind farm that may be providing a view of the future.

WindFarm Estinnes S.A. is an onshore wind farm that will comprise eleven of the latest generation of Enercon’s E-126 direct drive wind turbines, a machine currently rated at 6 megawatts. Each E-126 has a 127-metre rotor diameter — combined with the 135-metre the turbine has a total 198.5 metre installation height. WindVision’s Estinnes is expected to generate at least 187,000 MWh per year. And a genuine wind industry innovation, Eize de Vries reports, is that the advanced E-126 built-in power electronics will actively contribute towards stabilizing the transmission grid voltage within the entire region.

To achieve European wind power targets, installed European wind power capacity must increase from nearly 66 gigawatts (end 2008) to 180 gigawatts by 2020. That requires the addition of 10 gigawatts each year. Matthias Grottke of Munich consultancy WIP says that turbines of this scale ‘have the potential to significantly increase a wind park area utilization factor in terms of MW/km2. By applying E-126 turbines the area’s utilization factor increases by a factor of 2.3 compared with applying state-of-the-art 2.0 megawatt class equivalents.’

Read more about Eize’s visit to the Estinnes wind farm and his close-up view of the E-126 in the July-August issue of Renewable Energy World magazine and online here.

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Eize de Vries worked from 2001 to 2010 as Wind Technology Correspondent for Renewable Energy World magazine and rejoined the publication again in 2013. He also works as a Technology and Market Trends Consultant for Windpower Monthly and WindStats Report, is contributing editor to reNews, and provides specialized editorial services to various other international clients. An automotive and agricultural engineer by profession, he among others worked in Botswana, Mauritania and Bangladesh and Eastern Europe as a design engineer and technical consultant. In 1996 Eize established Rotation Consultancy, a sustainable energy consultancy specialised in wind power turbine technology and integrated solutions for onshore and offshore application. His company offers a range of dedicated services including turbine concept and systems analysis and development assistance, turbine and drivetrain technology reviews, turbine technical comparisons, and for older-generation turbines upgrading support. Eize has finally taught courses in sustainable (wind) energy technology, product design, lifecycle-based sustainability issues and related fields. Today he serves as a guest speaker/lecturer/moderator at universities, technology institutes and for other client groups.

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