AMSC, Sinovel Agree To Joint Development of Wind Turbines

American Superconductor Corporation (NASDAQ: AMSC) and Beijing-based Sinovel Wind Group Co., Ltd. have expanded their strategic partnership to include additional wind turbine designs for both the onshore and offshore markets.

Under the new agreement, Sinovel and AMSC Windtec™, will design and jointly develop a range of multi-megawatt-scale wind turbines that Sinovel plans to market and sell worldwide. Sinovel expects to begin volume production by the end of 2012 and, as part of the agreement, will purchase core electrical components from AMSC for the new machines.

Sinovel is China’s largest wind turbine manufacturer and now ranks as the world’s third largest wind turbine manufacturer based on its market share in 2009, according to industry research firms MAKE Consulting and BTM Consult. In 2009, Sinovel shipped approximately 2,400 of its 1.5-MW wind turbines (branded the SL1500) and approximately 100 of it 3-MW wind turbines (branded the SL3000).

Sinovel Chairman and President Han Junliang said the company’s objective is to become the largest wind turbine manufacturer in the world.

AMSC Windtec and Sinovel first formed their relationship in 2005. Since that time, AMSC has provided core electrical components for Sinovel’s 1.5-MW wind turbines as well as engineering support services and power electronics for the 3-MW and 5-MW wind turbines that have been co-developed by Sinovel and AMSC Windtec. Sinovel began shipping 3-MW wind turbines for the onshore and offshore markets in 2009.

The world’s wind power capacity grew by 31% in 2009 with the addition of 37.5 gigawatts (GW), bringing total global installations up to 157.9 GW, according to the Global Wind Energy Council’s (GWEC) Global Wind 2009 Report. A third of these additions were made in China, making it the world’s largest market in 2009. The country more than doubled its wind generation capacity from 12.1 GW in 2008 to 25.1 GW at the end of 2009, according to the GWEC.

Industry Research firm MAKE Consulting expects that China will increase its total amount of grid-connected wind power to approximately 130,000 MW by the end of 2015.

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