Xiangtan Electric Manufacturing Corp., a Chinese electric equipment maker, won its first wind turbine sale in Europe with a deal worth 18 million euros ($26 million) to develop farms with Gaelectric Holdings in Ireland.
The agreement covers co-development and turbine supply for three sites totaling 13.6 megawatts of wind energy in Roscommon, Offaly and Westmeath, Gaelectric said in a statement. State-run Xiangtan Electric also signed a letter of intent to develop Gaelectric’s pipeline of wind projects in Ireland, it said.
They are also working on offshore wind power, Brendan McGrath, chief executive officer of Dublin-based Gaelectric, said in the statement. Xiangtan Electric is testing a 5-megawatt gearless turbine in the Netherlands for deployment at sea.
The Chinese company, which bought Dutch wind-turbine maker Darwind in 2009, makes direct drive turbines that reduce weight and maintenance costs, according to the statement.
Chinese turbine makers are seeking to expand in Europe as the region adds wind farms to cut reliance on fossil fuels. Sinovel Wind Group Co. agreed a deal with Ireland’s Mainstream Renewable Power Ltd. in July and teamed up with Athens-based Public Power Corp. SA to develop plants in Greece in April.
“Chinese wind turbine manufacturers see Europe as a key target market,” Justin Wu, an analyst of wind energy at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said by e-mail. “The level of activity will only pick up in the next few years.”