GE Introduces New Sierra Platform, Next-Generation 3 MW Onshore Wind Turbine for North America

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GE Renewable Energy recently introduced Sierra its newest offshore wind turbine platform, specifically designed for North America. The turbine’s 3.0-3.4 MW capacity features a 140-meter diameter rotor. It is available with various hub heights including a <500 option. Sierra includes GE’s two-piece blade. This innovative design is designed to simplify logistics, installation, and serviceability. More than 1 GW orders have been placed for the turbine platform by the business.

GE has recently installed, commissioned and manufactured its first Sierra turbine site. This exceeded 98% availability quicker than GE’s previous onshore platform launches. It also has a 4 point higher capacity factor than GE’s 2 MW platform.

Sierra was built on the legacy GE’s 2 MW platform. It recently exceeded 30 GW in installed base worldwide. Two prototypes were built for the Sierra platform, one in Lubbock, TX and one in Kamataka India. Each prototype was successful for more than a full year.

Pat Byrne is GE’s CEO for Onshore Wind. He stated, “We are absolutely thrilled to introduce our Sierra platform, the most validated and tested turbine in GE history, to the North American onshore wind market”. This turbine was specifically designed to meet the unique needs of the region. It has been developed using significant feedback from wind farm developers and customers. Sierra provides our customers with quality and stability from the moment they are installed to the day they are operated. We couldn’t be happier about the performance of our installed base of Sierra turbines. It has been the most reliable and available GE turbine launch yet.

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Sierra turbines will soon be made at GE’s Pensacola manufacturing plant in FL. A significant amount of its components will be manufactured in North America. The 68.7m two-piece blades are manufactured by both LM Wind Power and TPI, enabling improved transportation logistics, installation and serviceability/upgrades.

Jason Cooper is the North America CEO of GE’s Onshore Wind Business. He stated that GE’s Sierra platform would allow customers to harness even more wind energy and improve economics.” We are aware that wind power is an important element in driving decarbonization as well as a reliable and affordable energy option. In the US, Sierra will play a significant role in the future landscape for wind turbines”.

The GE Sierra platform features a number of key enhancements including:

High capacity turbines with lower pads per site (+4 pts capacity factor, with 15% less pads per 100 MW than 2MW)
GE’s two-piece, revolutionary blade allows for improved logistics, site installation, and serviceability.
Simplified Machine Head & Electrical System, built from GE’s 2 MW platform. It includes a single main bearing and one piece down tower assembly. (DTA), an external pad mount transformer (PMT), and a rail-shippable head – supporting ease-of-use & serviceability
Optimized 3 and 4 section towers to make it easy to transport and install. Also available with 500′ tip height option for FAA restricted sites.
Crane flexibility, optimized to easily-available 600-ton crane classes to reduce cost and eliminate crane supply restrictions; single blade & full-rotor installation compatible
A variety of features and accessories are available to help with a range of siting problems, such as noise reduction mode, enhanced corrosion, bat acoustic protection, and bat acoustic detection.
Shared pitch bearing GE’s European platform legacy fleet with more than a decade of field experience
Groundbreaking serviceability improvements, including machine head material handling system with 400kg capacity, crane-less repaid technology and rear- entry hub accessiblity.
For the fourth consecutive year, GE Renewable Energy has been recognized by the American Clean Power Association as the leading manufacturer of wind turbines in America in 2021. ACPA reported that GE technology was used in half of the new capacity additions in the US, and in 49% of all new projects in advanced or under construction that have chosen an OEM.

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