Like many turbine makers, Gamesa has certainly endured its share of recent struggles. Not only has it reduced head count and adjusted costs for lower volume, but the U.S. wind market – the largest outside of Spain – has come to a standstill.
In a recent interview with NAW, Gamesa Chairman Ignacio Martin acknowledged the market struggles but assures that the company is headed in the right direction.
‘It's about profitability, not market share,’ Martin explains. Beginning last year, Gamesa adjusted the company's fixed costs to be profitable with lower volume. The action was a calculated, conscious decision by the company to resize itself to fit better and remain competitive in a constrained global market.
In fact, Gamesa says it views itself as a ‘technology partner’ rather than a development partner.
As for the U.S. market, Martin says, ‘It's a difficult year,’ thanks to the late extension of the production tax credit. For his part, Martin pegs annual installed capacity for the U.S. at 2.5 MW – 3.5 GW.
The slowdown has prompted Gamesa to eliminate off-balance sheet wind farm development in the U.S. to focus on turbine deliveries in ‘strategic growth markets’ such as Mexico, Brazil and India.
The company hopes it can buck the industryÂ trendÂ through significantÂ product enhancements, such as the G114-2.0 MW wind turbine, designed for low-wind sites.
According to the company, the G-114 will have a 38% increase in swept area and a 20% increase in annual energy output, compared with its G97-2.0 MW turbine. The new blade, which spans 55.5 meters, also enables maximum energy production with reduced noise output levels, according to Gamesa. The machine offers a range of tower-height options (from 93 meters to 140 meters or higher, depending on the target location).
‘The proven technology we have incorporated into the G114-2.5 MW model places it among the most reliable, efficient and cost-effective wind turbine technologies available today,’ says Juan Diego Diaz Vega, director of marketing. ‘Gamesa is a technology-driven company. Our focus is making our strongest product line even better, so customers are confident they have the highest-quality, top-performing turbines on the market.’
Gamesa will begin manufacturing initial prototypes of the G114-2.0 MW in the third quarter, with the first turbine deliveries to begin at the end of this year. Beginning in 2014, the company will manufacture the turbine for the U.S. market.
So far, the early returns are encouraging. Gamesa notes the G114 represents about 70% of what prospective customers are requesting. Gamesa delivered a 6.9% profit margin in the second quarter, exceeding its target for the year.
‘Gamesa is on the right path and needs to make aggressive moves with its product portfolio to keep pace with market leaders such as GE, Vestas and Siemens,’ explains Dan Shreve, a principal at MAKE Consulting. ‘They are making smart decisions with respect to the restructuring of their supply chain to deal with shifting market demand in the Americas. It is critical that Gamesa execute the deployment of the G114 efficiently, as any major program delays that result in commercialization delays may result in the group missing out on the expected order blitz in late 2013.’