Gaelectric, XEMC VWEC to co-develop three Irish wind farms

Source: Gaelectric

Renewable energy and energy storage group, Gaelectric, and XEMC VWEC, a member of the Chinese XEMC Group, a global leader in Direct Drive Permanent Magnet Generator (PMG) wind turbines, have signed contracts to co-develop three Irish wind farms, and have agreed to examine the co-development of Gaelectric's pipeline of wind energy projects in Ireland. 

This will see the first commercial deployment of XEMC VWEC wind turbines in Europe with the deployment of the new XV90 turbines at 3 Gaelectric on-shore sites Roosky in Co. Roscommon, Leabeg in Co. Offaly and Crowinstown in Westmeath totalling 13.6 MW of wind power. The value of these initial co-development projects amounts to euro 18 million. 

Commenting earlier this week at a contract signing ceremony with Gaelectric at its headquarters in Dublin, XEMC Group Chairman, Mr. Zhou Jianxiong, said: "Gaelectric's pipeline of wind farm projects in key locations, combined with our shared focus on innovation in renewable energy technologies, makes us ideal allies in co-developing Gaelectric's portfolio of renewable power projects. We are particularly pleased that the sites that we intend to co-develop with Gaelectric are very suited to establishing our Direct Drive Permanent Magnet Generator (PMG) turbine technology as the leading global wind generation technology delivering low service and maintenance costs, competitive pricing, and high availability and annual yield." 

XEMC, locally represented by Titan Energy Associates, is one of the larger industrial groups in China with a corporate history stretching back over 70 years. Based in Hunan Province, State-owned XEMC Group employs over 10,000 staff with established business segments in electrical mechanics, heavy automotive engineering, ship propulsion systems, electric locomotives for the mining industry, light rail vehicles for public transportation systems, and wind energy technology. XEMC has 820 of its XE-series turbines installed in China. Its XE-series are the largest turbines in mass production in China. 

Commenting at the signing ceremony, Gaelectric CEO, Brendan McGrath, said: "Our alliance with XEMC is a significant strategic step for Gaelectric. With the backing of XEMC's industrial strength and technological capacity, and their track record and commitment to long term relationships, we are confident that Gaelectric's portfolio of wind farm sites will be realised to the highest commercial and technical standards. Our visit to China in March of this year confirmed to us XEMC's commitment to research and development which combines Dutch engineering design and pedigree, with Chinese industrial power. We also share a vision for the significant opportunities from off-shore wind energy generation on which we are already working closely together." 

Commenting on today's announcement, IDA Ireland said that the XEMC – Gaelectric contracts to co-develop wind energy projects in Ireland, together with both parties stated intention to examine other wind energy projects, is a significant development in Chinese and Irish business co-operation. IDA has been working with XEMC for some time and we very much welcome this announcement as a platform for further Chinese-Ireland business relationships. 

Through its acquisition of Dutch renewable energy technology firm, Darwind in 2009, XEMC has consolidated its position as leaders in the development of Direct Drive Permanent Magnet Generator technologies which have distinct technical and commercial advantages in a wide range of applications. Direct Drive PMG turbine technology avoids the requirement for generator gearboxes, thereby reducing weight and improving reliability. XEMC is supporting the further development of this PMG technology with its development of a 5 MW turbine for deployment in off-shore settings. A prototype of this offshore dedicated 5MW turbine has recently been installed at a turbine test centre in the Netherlands.

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