Alstom turbines selected for Pontal wind power project in Brazil


Alstom has signed a contract worth approximately $33 million (EUR 25 million) with Enerplan, a power company from the Brazilian group Oleoplan, to supply wind turbines to the Pontal wind power project in the South of Brazil. The equipment will be installed in a new wind farm located in Viamão, city of Rio Grande do Sul State. Commissioning of the Pontal renewable energy project is scheduled at the end of 2015.

The company will supply 10 units of ECO 122 wind turbines, generating 2.7 MW each. The ECO 122 wind turbine has the biggest rotor diameter within the 2 MW to 3 MW onshore turbine segment. It combines high power and high capacity factor1  to boost energy yield in low wind regions, and thus fits perfectly with the Brazilian wind conditions. 

The nacelles of the wind turbines will be manufactured at Alstom's plant in Bahia State and the towers will be produced at Alstom’s new facility in Canoas, improving the local economy, and taking full advantage of the company’s investments in the country. Alstom will also be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the wind turbines for five years. 

Marcos Costa, Alstom’s VP of Renewable Power and Thermal Power in Latin America said: “This new partnership demonstrates the confidence of our customers in our products and services and confirms our growth in the wind market in Latin America. Just days after the launch of our first wind tower factory in the region, we already have achieved a strategic position, with two important contracts to be supported by the unit, sustaining our local strategy”.

At a wind speed of 7.5 m/s, the turbine delivers a net wind farm capacity factor of up to 42%, equivalent to 3,600 full-load hours each year. Its 122-metre rotor diameter and swept area2 of 11,700 m2 – maximise the harvest of energy and the return on investment to create new business opportunities for customers from low wind sites. The ECO 122 produces about 25% increased wind farm yield on a given piece of land compared with today's 1.5 - 2 MW turbines, as fewer turbines need to be installed to create the same amount of power. As an example, on a typical low wind site, six current generation 1.5 - 2 MW turbines will produce around 40 GWh/year , compared with more than 50 GWh/year3 with only five ECO 122 turbines. 

The ECO 122 is the latest evolution of Alstom’s proven ECO 100 turbine platform, and the result of more than 30 years of experience in wind turbine design. The ECO 100 platform now has more than 1000 MW installed or under construction worldwide and over 200,000 cumulative operating hours since 2008. 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.

Alstom, present in Brazil for over 57 years, is responsible for almost 30% of the power generation market in the country. Since 2010, Alstom has signed contracts in Brazil to provide more than 2000 MW in wind projects, including the supply of over 600 ECO 122 wind turbines.

1 - Capacity Factor is an indicator of how much energy a wind turbine produces in a particular location, over a year. Since wind speed is not constant, a wind turbine's annual energy production is never as much as its MW rating multiplied by total hours in a year. Capacity factor is the ratio of the actual energy produced in a year, to the theoretical maximum possible if the turbine is running full time at full power output. 
2 - The swept area is the area through which the rotor blades of a wind turbine spin. The power output of a wind turbine is directly related to the area swept by the blades. The larger the diameter of its blades, the more power it is capable of extracting from the wind. 
3 - GWh = Gigawatt Hour. 1GWh = one thousand megawatt hours

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