Six European wind turbine manufacturers participate in the 1 gigawatt tender of NERO Renewables N.V.

Six European wind turbine manufacturers participate in the 1 gigawatt tender of NERO Renewables N.V.

Groningen, December 11 th – NERO Renewables N.V. recently submitted its ‘Invitation To Tender’ to European wind turbine manufacturers. Six of them decided to participate in this expansive tender which involves about 360 wind turbines, spread over three locations in the Muntenia and Dobrogea regions in Romania. NERO aims to make a final choice of turbine before start of the second quarter next year, with one or more manufacturer(s).

Vestas, SGRE, Enercon, Senvion, Nordex and Lagerwey participate in the tender. Lagerwey is a Dutch company and NERO grants them the opportunity to supply a limited number of turbines, involving Dutch content.

Achieving the lowest LCOE (levelized cost of energy) over the 25 years lifetime of the project is the main aim of NERO.

With this objective in mind, NERO decided earlier this year to upgrade the permits for one part of the project, enabling the tallest possible rotor diameters and hub heights, resulting in significantly more yield per turbine and per megawatt.

Manufacturers anticipate accordingly by promoting their modular platforms which allow larger rotors and increased generator capacity by reinforcing relevant parts of their drivetrains and other critical components. In addition, more sophisticated load control and changing strategies for O&M (operation & maintenance) are introduced. The latter refers to pre-calculated preventive overhaul programs, in which worn out parts are replaced by new or refurbished ones, using ‘State-of-the-Art’ condition monitoring systems, to limit the down time and consequential damage.

Aiming for the lowest LCOE, NERO does not focus on turbine price and projected energy production alone. A strong focus on the operational expenditure during the whole lifetime of the project is required. The current pressure on LCOE is so high that manufacturers tend to accept narrow margins and introduce components sourced from Asian markets, making technical risks higher than before. This situation requires careful anticipation with long term all-inclusive Operation & Maintenance agreements, in order to mitigate risks.

These long term all-inclusive agreements have little meaning without sufficient financial backup, therefore a strong focus on balance sheets, turbine- and service organization track records and future development perspectives of the respective manufacturers form key elements in NERO’s analyses, serving the needs of sponsors and lenders.

NERO, which stands for ‘Netherlands – Romania’, is in the process of realizing 3 fully permitted windfarms in Romania. These windfarms will be directly connected to the (inter-) national high voltage grid and will annually inject 3 terawatt hours (TWh) of renewable energy into the European grid, extractable in any of the EU member states.

Recently NERO offered its project as a Joint Project to the Dutch government which needs additional renewable capacity. The project accounts for 2.6 % of the total Dutch electricity production and equals over 20% of the existing Dutch onshore wind fleet. It also represents about 1/3rd of the current gap which withholds the Netherlands from reaching their 2020 RES target.

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