AMSC Signs Contract to Develop 5 MW Wind Turbines with China’s Dongfang Turbine

January 05, 2010 by Jeff Shepard

American Superconductor Corp., announced that its wholly-owned AMSC Windtec™ subsidiary has signed a follow-on contract with Dongfang Turbine Co. Ltd. ("Dongfang") to design and jointly develop 5 megawatt (MW) full conversion wind turbines for the offshore wind power market.

Dongfang is one of China’s top machinery companies. The company entered the wind power market in 2004 and shipped more than 800 wind turbines with a 1.5 MW power rating in 2008, making it the country’s third largest wind turbine manufacturer. Dongfang will soon commission its first prototype 2.5 MW wind turbine designed under a prior agreement with AMSC Windtec and will enter volume production of these wind turbines in the second half of 2010.

"Dongfang has firmly established itself as a top manufacturer of wind turbines for the Chinese market and has aggressive plans to enter the global market with cutting-edge technologies," said Wang Wei Min, Vice General Manager and Chief Engineer of Dongfang. "We are happy to expand our relationship with AMSC and add this higher-power, full conversion wind turbine to our portfolio to help meet the growing demand for clean, wind-generated electricity."

Dongfang has exclusive rights to the 5 MW full conversion wind turbine designs in China and plans to begin supplying the wind turbines for the worldwide offshore market in 2012. AMSC has the right of first refusal to supply the core electrical components for Dongfang’s 5 MW wind turbines.

"Dongfang already has established itself as one of China’s largest wind turbine manufacturers and is poised for strong growth in 2010 and beyond as it introduces its new 2.5 MW in the second half of this year and its 5 MW wind turbines in the next two years," said Greg Yurek, founder and Chief Executive Officer of AMSC. "We are particularly pleased to see more and more of our customers become repeat customers for new wind turbine designs. It is a validation of our advanced wind turbine technologies and signals more growth for our customers and AMSC going forward."

At the end of calendar year 2008, the global wind energy market had a total installed capacity of 120 GW. Industry research firm Emerging Energy Research (EER) projects the global installed base to grow to over 600 GW by 2020. EER predicts China’s total installed wind power capacity will increase from 12 GW at the end of 2008 to more than 200 GW by 2020. EER estimates the global offshore wind power market will grow from its current total installed capacity of 1.5 to 41.5 GW in 2020.