Global Cooperation

High-tech company boosts offshore wind power off Italian coastline

Updated: Jun 29, 2022 China Daily Print
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GUANGZHOU-Standing off the Taranto Port in southern Italy is the Beleolico wind farm, with 10 turbines from China. The wind farm is expected to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 730,000 metric tons in its 25-year service life.

As the first offshore wind farm in the Mediterranean, Beleolico received the wind turbines from Mingyang Smart Energy Group Co Ltd, a new energy company headquartered in Zhongshan, Guangdong province.

Mingyang not only provided the Beleolico project with such equipment as the turbines' main rotors, fan blades, towers and control systems but also signed a 20-year contract offering full operation and maintenance services during their life span.

"For years, our company has held fast to the strategy of developing our own technologies, and now the efforts are finally paying off," said Zhang Qiying, president and CTO of Mingyang Smart Energy.

The completion ceremony of the Beleolico project was held in April. The wind farm is set in a low wind speed area with a water depth ranging from 3 to 18 meters and an annual average wind speed of 5.2 meters per second, similar to that of most coastal areas in China.

As Chinese wind power enterprises have been cultivating technologies in the low wind speed sphere for many years, they are capable to a large extent of satisfying demand in the Mediterranean market.

The project adopted the advanced semi-direct-drive technology and customized the ultra-low wind speed solution considering the Mediterranean climate situation, which greatly improved the return on investment for customers. The low cost and complete supply chains also make Chinese enterprises stand out, Zhang said.

The development of wind power in China faces complex topographies, which bring multiple needs and challenges in diverse scenarios and prompt Chinese enterprises to grow rapidly, said Zhang.

The project was delivered in strict accordance with European standards and business practices, which also represents a deep international collaboration. It involves the Italian proprietor Renexia, Dutch hoisting subcontractor Van Oord and Italian installation subcontractor IVPC, as well as loans from Natixis.

"Italy has strict project standards and requires a multichannel certification process, which poses challenges for our project," said Zhang, noting that the distinct ultra-low wind speed solution and the highest generating capacity contributed to the cooperation.

There is still wide space for the application of Chinese technologies in the Mediterranean and Europe. "We have set up demonstration projects in Spain and France," said Zhang. "We will continue to enhance our participation in the European market and expand our international business."


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