Cuerva builds Spain’s most powerful experimental wind turbine in Guadix
The Experimental Wind Farm in Guadix, Granada is a new renewable generation asset developed by Cuerva.
Based on innovative permanent magnet technology, it is the most powerful of its kind in Spain and is considered environmentally friendly.
Cuerva, a leading company in the energy sector, makes more clean, green energy available to Andalusia thanks to the newly-constructed wind farm in Guadix that has been operational since early autumn. With a height of 100 metres to the hub and a 70-metre blade length, it is currently the most powerful wind turbine of its kind in Spain.
This 3.4-MW giant will produce approximately 10.2 GWh of clean energy each year, the equivalent of the power demand of around 1,200 households. The beneficial environmental impact of this new renewable asset is also worth noting; it will prevent the emission of 2,550 tons of CO2 per year into the atmosphere.
The new project has an investment budget of 4.2 million euros and Cuerva has once more been involved throughout the value chain from planning, through all the development and construction stages to commissioning and subsequent maintenance of the wind farm. Guadix met all the requirements to be selected as the site of the new development. As Beatriz Jaldo, Head of Renewable EPC at Cuerva and person in charge of the construction phase remarks: “the area is subject to significant, predominantly easterly winds".
Once the permits had been obtained Guadix – an eye witness to an important energy-related milestone – has become a direct beneficiary of development and start-up of the project. “Construction involved creation of local jobs, increased activity in the town with greater use of services, landowners who receive compensation in the form of rent for the 20- or 25-year life cycle of the wind farm and the Town Council collects fees for processing the municipal license and permits, a significant amount of money to invest in improvements to the town and its surroundings," declares María Dolores Delgado, Cueva’s Head of Renewable Developments.
Bigger, more powerful and just as exciting
This is an unusual wind turbine in that it employs a new synchronous or permanent-magnet technology. In technical terms, it is a synchronous generator with permanent magnet (PM) excitation and gearless direct drive from the three-blade rotor. The blades are also more complex than usual, featuring a series of noise-reduction teeth on each blade and ailerons that enhance their aerodynamics and therefore their energy efficiency. “If the blades, which are a prototype, work as well as expected” claims Beatriz, “we will begin to produce them in a factory adjacent to the site”.
The constructor, with the aid of other highly-specialised companies, will now undergo a steep learning curve during the plant’s two-year warranty period. "Being taller and more powerful entails greater risks, which means that we have to implement an extremely thorough operation and maintenance plan. But we are really excited because it also brings many advantages” concludes Laura González, Cueva’s Head of Renewable O&M.
This single wind turbine yields 3.5 MW at peak power, an output that would have required three units just a few years ago. With this new green generation asset, Cuerva's total renewable energy production exceeds 63.7 GWh per year, a total installed capacity of more than 32 MW and a projected capacity of at least 122 MW by the end of 2022.
Commited to the development of renewable assets
Since 2018 Cuerva has developed four full EPC projects for wind farms that now account for 30% of the company's global renewable asset portfolio: Alba de Tormes (Salamanca) was the first, followed by Mamut (Padul, Granada), the now-operational Guadix Wind Farm and the recently-constructed Antonio Valverde Wind Farm in Aldeire, Granada. The company has also increased its photovoltaic energy generation through the Camino de Ácula photovoltaic plant and, in keeping with Cuerva's tradition, hydroelectric power with the new Rules power plant to be commissioned in 2023.