GE Renewable Energy has unveiled Sierra, its newest onshore wind turbine platform designed specifically for the North America region.
The 3.0-3.4 MW turbine features a 140-meter rotor and is offered with a variety of hub heights, including a <500’ option. Sierra also includes GE’s two-piece blade, designed to improve logistics, installation and serviceability. The business has currently received more than 1 GW of orders for the turbine platform.
GE has manufactured, installed and commissioned its first site of Sierra turbines, which exceeded 98% availability faster than GE’s previous onshore platform launches to date, and is operating with 4 points higher capacity factor, compared to GE’s 2 MW platform.
Sierra is built on the legacy of GE’s 2 MW platform. The Sierra platform launched with two prototypes, one in Lubbock, Texas, and one in Kamataka, India, with more than a year of successful run time on each.
“We are absolutely delighted to introduce our Sierra platform to the North America onshore wind industry – the most tested and validated turbine in GE’s history,” says Pat Byrne, CEO for GE’s Onshore Wind business. “This is a turbine that was designed specifically for the future needs and unique challenges of the region, taking into account significant feedback and insights from our customers and wind farm developers. From siting to execution and operation, Sierra offers our customers continued quality and stability. Our installed base of Sierra turbines has recorded the highest reliability and availability in a GE turbine launch to date, and we couldn’t be happier with its performance and customer reception.”
Sierra turbines will be manufactured at GE’s Pensacola, Fla. manufacturing facility, with a significant portion of its components manufactured in North America. The 68.7-meter, two-piece blades are manufactured by both LM Wind Power and TPI.
“GE’s Sierra platform will help our customers to capture even more wind energy while improving economics,” states Jason Cooper, the North America CEO for GE’s Onshore Wind business. “We know that wind power is a key element of driving decarbonization and a dependable and affordable energy option, and we’re confident that Sierra will be a key part of the future landscape of wind turbines installed in the U.S. in the coming years.”
GE’s Sierra platform includes a variety of enhancements, including high-capacity factor turbines with reduced pads per site (+4 pts capacity factor with 15% less pads needed per 100 MW compared to 2 MW), and a simplified machine head and electrical system, built off GE’s 2 MW platform. It includes a single main bearing, single piece down tower assembly, external pad mount transformer and rail-shippable machine head. It has optimized three- and four-section towers for ease of transport and installation, including a 500’-tip height, 81-meter tower option for FAA limited sites. There is also CRANE flexibility, optimized for the 600-ton crane class.