American Superconductor (AS) has received an order worth approximately $445m (£309m) from Sinovel Wind Group, the world’s third largest wind-turbine manufacturer.
Under the terms of the agreement, AS will begin shipping core electrical components for Sinovel’s 1.5MW wind turbines (branded the SL1500) early next year.
Shipments under the contract will span a period of 30 months. The company is currently shipping 1.5MW core electrical components under a multi-year contract that extends through early 2011.
The order will support Sinovel’s continued production of SL1500s. At the same time, Sinovel plans to increase production of its 3MW wind turbines, which are installed and operating in China’s first offshore wind farm, and are also being marketed for onshore applications.
In addition, Sinovel expects to install its 5MW prototype by the end of 2010. These higher-power systems, which Sinovel developed using AS’s Windtec designs, are also equipped with AMSC’s power electronics.
Sinovel increased its shipments from approximately 1,500MW in 2008 to approximately 3,900MW in 2009 and has publicly stated its intention to become the world’s largest wind-turbine manufacturer within five years.
According to a March 2010 report from Make Consulting, China installed more than 13,000MW of wind power in 2009. Make expects that China will increase its total amount of grid-connected wind power from approximately 19,000MW at the end of 2009 to approximately 130,000MW by the end of 2015.