The IEC 61400-22 certification was awarded by certification body Det Norske Veritas (DNV), and represents a “major milestone” in the certification process for the turbine, ensuring its timely launch, Games said.
Following the award, Gamesa has commenced installation of its first G128 turbine prototype on the Arinaga Quay on the island of Gran Canaria, in the Canary Islands. The company expects to start commissioning in the second quarter of 2013, with the aim of securing the next level of certification in early 2014. Once this has been achieved, Gamesa can begin erecting the first machines at an offshore wind farm.
The Spanish company intends to concentrate its resources in coming years on developing two new turbine systems of 2.5 MW and 5.5 MW, with the latter suitable for both onshore and offshore use. Gamesa hopes to launch the models the second quarter of 2014 and the fourth quarter of 2014 respectively, with both models designed to lower the €/MWh cost of wind power development.
In addition, the company said it sees its focus shifting again in the medium to long term towards higher-capacity offshore turbines of 7MW and 8MW.
Using some of the technology already in use in Gamesa’s 4.5MW turbine, the 5MW model has a rotor diameter of 128 meters and a modular design, which Gamesa claims “guarantees” reliability and maximises energy output.
“Starting with a proven, validated and certified technology is an indisputable competitive advantage," said Gamesa’s managing director of commercial, projects and offshore, Javier Perea. “We had already come a long way. Nonetheless, the variable and extreme conditions offshore wind turbines are exposed to, combined with often difficult-to-access sites, have prompted us to work on turbines like the G128, which are able to minimise shut-downs, reduce maintenance tasks and achieve competitive cost of energy and optimal returns throughout a wind farm's entire life cycle."