Information on the origins and growth of ACCIONA Windpower.
In 1998, ACCIONA, which was already a leader in wind power development (through EHN), decided to develop its own wind turbines to facilitate its growth over the following years and overcome the limited supply available in the turbine market at the time.
The AW 60/1300 prototype was the first result of that decision, and it gave rise to the birth of ACCIONA Windpower as a designer and supplier of wind turbines, both for the Group itself and for customers. The first prototype was installed in 2000 on Mount Aizkibel. In 2001 and 2002 the machine was improved through two more prototypes (located at Aibar and Peñablanca), all of these locations in the region of Navarra (northern Spain), close to the company headquarters.
In record time, the company had a wind turbine available for installation in a commercial wind farm. In 2002 and 2003 it installed the first pre-series of its AW 70/1300 GL (class III) wind turbine, with a rotor diameter of 70 m. The first 20 units were erected in the Llanas de Codés wind farms (Navarra).
On May 6th 2003 the wind turbine assembly plant at Barásoain was opened, dimensioned to produce up to 250 units per year of the 1,500 kW capacity platform. This reliable and robust turbine, designed for a long usable lifetime, was based on the knowledge obtained by the company as an operator of almost 2,000 turbines in Spain by that time.
2004 was the first full year of manufacture of the AW1500 kW turbine, with versions certified for high wind speeds (70-meter rotor) and low-medium winds (77-meter rotor). In a few years this platform became a reference point for reliability and durability, as witnessed by the sale of more than three thousand units in 15 different countries.
Two years after starting turbine manufacture in Barásoain, we opened a twin plant in La Vall D’Uixó (Castellón) to supply machines for the large-scale wind power program that ACCIONA was about to undertake in the region of Valencia.
ACCIONA Windpower crossed the Atlantic and set up its first turbine production facility in the American continent. The chosen site was the locality of West Branch in the state of Iowa, whose governor at the time, Chet Culver, had made a visit to Spain to learn about the company’s activities for himself. The plant started operations in December 2007 and was officially opened on January 18th 2008.
In 2008, just two years after starting design of the AW3000, ACCIONA Windpower produced and installed the first prototype near the engineering and manufacturing headquarters in Navarra, Spain. At the time, this 3 MW wind turbine with a 100 meter concrete tower and 100 meter rotor represented one of the first 3 MW units installed globally with such a large rotor and tall tower. The prototype was monitored for over two years before ACCIONA Windpower started commercially offering the technology to the market.
As a new result of the innovative ability of our team, on June 30th 2010 the blade production facility of ACCIONA Blades was opened, completing the company’s presence in the wind power value chain and improving knowledge and control of the final product. It initially built blades 34 and 37.5 m long and has evolved in parallel to the AW wind turbine range. It now has the capacity to manufacture 61.2 m for the AW125/3000 turbine with a 125 m rotor.
Bahía State Governor Jaques Wagner inaugurated ACCIONA Windpower’s hub production plant at Simões Filho on March 11th. It was the first milestone in the company’s industrial implementation in Brazil, complemented in late 2014 with a nacelle plant located very close to the previous one. ACCIONA thus takes up a position as one of the main OEMs in the Brazilian market.
Just six years after its debut, the AW3000 platform has been a great commercial success, with more than 2,000 MW contracted in 9 countries on 4 continents. This success is a result of having a competitive and proven platform with multiple rotor and tower configurations to provide the lowest COE in almost any site or market. The company has continued to innovate with the latest AW132/3000 expanding on the successful platform deployment globally.
On October 5th 2015, ACCIONA and Nordex announced an agreement to create a wind power industry leader, able to rank among the top-5 global onshore manufacturers. Nordex will acquire ACCIONA Windpower, the Group's wind turbine manufacturing subsidiary, and ACCIONA will become Nordex's main shareholder with a 29.9% stake. The deal, which is subject to approval by relevant competition authorities, is expected to be closed by 1Q 2016.