LEITWIND goes to America

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The first wind turbine for the USA to be delivered by year’s end
Vipiteno, 08/16/2011
When New Yorkers head to the southern tip of Manhattan and turn their gaze toward the southwest, they look directly at the Statue of Liberty, the emblem of the metropolis.

And by the end of 2011, if they look right behind it to New Jersey, they will see the first LEITWIND wind turbine in the USA. Seven kilometers (nearly five miles) from New York City on the Hudson River, an LTW77 wind turbine with a rated power of 1,5 MW will be built under contract with the city of Bayonne. The clean energy will be provided to the Oak Street Pumping Station, the main combined sanitary-storm water pumping station serving the entire city of Bayonne.

This system will produce around 3,3 GWh of electricity per year, thus making a substantial contribution to New Jersey’s renewable energy portfolio. In so doing, not only will the city of Bayonne save around US$175,000 per year in electricity costs, it can also count on a profit in the medium term that is to be earned through the sale of the electricity. The decision to go with renewable energy sources is in the foreground in this regard. For that reason, an expansion of wind energy in the medium to long term was conceived in order to foster independence from oil price fluctuations and increasingly higher energy prices in general.

For the R&D team in Sterzing, Italy, it once again represented a challenge to find the right solution for the special location. As a result of the salt content in the air close to the sea coast, a special cooling system was developed which guarantees a closed cooling loop. This prevents the salty air from affecting the components of the wind turbine generator. This technology has already been used by LEITWIND in Sri Lanka.

The production location in Telfs, Austria is providing the main components: the tower head consisting of the hub, generator, and main frame. The rotor blades as well as the tower, with a total height of 80 meters (262 feet) are being manufactured in the USA. The LEITWIND wind turbine is being installed in collaboration with the subsidiary Leitner-Poma of America and represents yet another example of the efficient use of the company synergies with Leitner Group. At the same time, though, local added value in the USA is guaranteed, which was a precondition for the public financing of the project.

“New Jersey’s energy master plan has until 2020 to reach the goal that was set of producing 30% of electricity from renewable energy sources,” explains Anton Seeber, the CEO LEITWIND. “This wind turbine may indeed only be a small contribution along the path to this ambitious goal, but in so doing, the city administration is taking an important step in the right direction.” For Seeber, the first LEITWIND wind turbine in the USA is a powerful symbol for the consolidation of the company’s international presence.