Gamesa, specializing in the design, manufacture and maintenance of wind turbines, has been awarded a contract to supply a total of 120 MW of capacity to the Windstar wind project, which is being developed by Western Wind Energy Corporation at the Tehachapi Pass in southern California.
It will be the largest wind farm developed to date in the United States by Vancouver, Canada - based Western Wind Energy and also Gamesa's first contract with this developer, which has wind power projects in California, Arizona and Ontario.
The agreement also includes Gamesa providing operation and maintenance services for the next ten years.
Supply of 60 wind turbines starting in April 2011
Gamesa is to supply Western Wind Energy with a total of 60 wind turbine generators from its G8X-2.0 MW platform with deliveries starting in April 2011. The two models from the G8X-2.0 MW platform supplied under this contract will be manufactured at their factory in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania.
All the turbines, which are specifically designed for high temperature, will be installed on 67-meter towers. Gamesa will also supervise construction of the wind farm, to commence immediately. Western Wind Energy has a 20-year agreement to supply electricity to Southern California Edison.
"This agreement is a first with an important new customer, Western Wind Energy, and will strengthen our footprint and leading position in the US market", said Dirk Matthys, CEO of Gamesa for North America.
Jeffrey J. Ciachurski, CEO of Western Wind Energy, noted that "following a rigorous process of due diligence among the main manufacturers, we chose the Gamesa G8X-2.0 MW platform because of its robustness and excellent performance, considering also that there are over 9,200 MW installed worldwide". Western Wind Energy Corp. is utilizing funds from the Section 1603 Program to partially fund the construction of the Windstar Wind Farm. This program, created as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) that was enacted in February 2009, provides an optional cash payment for developers in lieu of a 30 percent investment tax credit (ITC) and production tax credit (PTC).
The US, a strategic market that already accounts for 22% of revenues
Gamesa has been operating in the US since 2005; it has two manufacturing plants in Pennsylvania employing over 800 people and with production capacity of over 1,000 MW/year.
The US market, which Gamesa has designated as strategic, accounts for 22% of the company's total worldwide wind turbine generator sales. Gamesa expects to steadily increase its presence and sales in the region: it projects 15% average annual growth in sales in the US between 2009 and 2013.