Alstom joins R&D on performance of wind turbines in artic conditions


The new 21 MW Muukko wind farm installed in Lappeenranta, Eastern Finland, has been officially inaugurated. Developed by TuuliTapiola ky and TuuliSaimaa Oy, Muukko is equipped with seven of Alstom's 3.0 MW ECO 110 wind turbines suited for medium to low wind sites. Thanks to its Cold Climate Version, this turbine design perfectly suits Nordic winter conditions. 

Alongside this inauguration Alstom signed a Letter of Intent for a Research & Development (R&D) cooperation agreement for two years with Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT), TuuliSaimaa and TuuliMuukko. This agreement is the right framework to deepen the understanding of how wind turbines respond under arctic climate conditions to further improve operations, performance and reliability. The research teams will also study the application of advanced ice detection sensors.

In this agreement, LUT - the biggest research and education unit in the Finnish energy sector - will provide academic expertise through the active participation of professors and researchers, while TuuliMuukko will provide the Muukko wind turbines for empirical R&D activities. Alstom, expert in this technology, will supervise the project.

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Markus Alholm, president of Alstom Finland, said: “We are excited about the start of the R&D cooperation with Lappeenranta University of Technology and TuuliMuukko. The cooperation will definitively strengthen our know-how and presence in the Nordic wind power market. We are also very pleased with Alstom’s first Nordic wind farm reference, which we have executed  according to the schedule and successfully in winter conditions.”

Olli Pyrhönen, Professor for wind power technology at LUT said: “This wind farm proves that with the use of latest turbine technology profitable wind energy production is possible also in areas besides the windy coast areas. The research of turbine technology can’t be valuable without authentic measurement with real equipment in different weather conditions. Muukko wind farm and the cooperation with Alstom will give us a unique opportunity to gather and analyze valuable research material. We are very excited about the future R&D cooperation with Alstom as well as about the possibility to communicate and exchange ideas directly with Alstom Wind’s technology team.”

Muukko is one of the biggest onshore wind farms in Finland with an estimated annual electricity production of over 40 GWh, covering the needs of over 3,000 houses with electrical heating.  Since the completion of Muukko wind farm Finland’s installed wind power capacity has reached 323 MW, totaling 176 wind turbines.

Alstom and TuuliMuukko signed the contract for this project in June 2012. The wind turbines were built in Alstom’s turbine manufacturing facilities in Spain and their erection started in February 2013 in Lappeenranta.  The electricity production started according to schedule, in June 2013. Alstom will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the wind farm for 12 years.

The ECO 110 wind turbines are part of Alstom’s proven ECO 100 Platform, and the result of more than 30 years of experience in wind turbine design. Alstom has installed or is installing more than 2,500 wind turbines in over 150 wind farms, delivering nearly 4,000 MW of clean power. All Alstom wind turbines are based upon the unique and proven Alstom Pure Torque® rotor support concept that protects the drive train from deflection loads, ensuring higher reliability and lower maintenance costs.

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