European wind developers play down Siemens Gamesa turbine troubles

Source: By Reuters • Posted: Thursday, June 29, 2023

Illustration shows Siemens Gamesa logo
Miniatures of windmill and electric pole are seen in front of Siemens Gamesa logo in this illustration taken January 17, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

LONDON, June 28 (Reuters) – Major wind power developers including Iberdrola (IBE.MC), RWE (RWEG.DE), EDP Renovaveis (EDPR.LS) and Orsted (ORSTED.CO) played down the impact of potential problems with Siemens Gamesa onshore wind turbines.

Siemens Gamesa parent Siemens Energy (ENR1n.DE) last week said problems with its more recent onshore platforms could affect up to 15 to 30% of its installed turbines worldwide, triggering a 37% fall in its share price.

It warned that it could cost more than 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) to fix flaws in rotor blades and bearings, which could cause damage ranging from small cracks to component failures.

Siemens Gamesa has provided wind turbines to some of the biggest power companies and oil and gas majors worldwide and has warned the problems could take years to resolve.

UBS analysts said that in a worst-case scenario charges for Siemens Energy could exceed 5 billion euros.

Portugal’s EDP Renovaveis said to its knowledge the problems outlined by Siemens Gamesa refer to the group’s two most recent onshore platforms, the 4.X and 5.X, adding it had very few 4.X turbines and no 5.X turbines in its portfolio.

“EDPR has a well-diversified manufacturer portfolio, with Siemens Gamesa performing in line with other suppliers,” the company said.

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Germany’s RWE, a long-standing customer, said it had not seen any “unusual technical issues” in its existing wind power portfolio, while French utility EDF (EDF.PA) said it could solve any issues that arise.

Denmark’s Orsted said it operates one onshore wind farm with Siemens Energy turbines and that Orsted’s portfolio of turbines has “high availability rates, reflecting that wind power has very little down-time.”


Swedish wind farm developer Eolus Vind said technical issues seen with turbines delivered by Siemens Gamesa were no more frequent than with other manufacturers and that it is receiving components for new projects as scheduled.

Meanwhile, Iberdrola will carry out a thorough analysis before installing 11 of Siemens Gamesa’s troubled flagship 5.X model for a Spanish onshore wind farm, a source at the Spanish company said.

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Siemens Gamesa has already told Iberdrola that it would proceed with a retrofit design, the source said, adding no technical issues for the remaining fleet of Siemens Gamesa turbines had been observed.

A spokesperson for Iberdrola confirmed the information.

Siemens Energy declined to comment.

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners said that while it did not have the affected turbines mentioned by Siemens Gamesa in its fleet it was interested in collaborating with the company to mitigate any potential impact on its development portfolio.

Siemens Energy closed up 6.7% on Wednesday, recovering some losses after analysts said Friday’s sell-off was overblown.

Siemens Gamesa first disclosed problems around its 5.X model in July 2021, flagging higher than expected ramp-up costs.

Problems with the model, of which more than 5 gigawatts have been sold around the world, include manufacturing delays as well as higher costs of material and transportation.

Siemens Energy also said there was a separate set of challenges in offshore turbines, including the delay of production site construction and supply chain issues.

Many wind developers have already seen delays in projects due to shortages of components and rising costs.

Poland’s PGE (PGE.WA) said it saw no risk to timely deliveries of Siemens Gamesa turbines for the Baltica 2 offshore wind project in the Baltic Sea, set for commissioning in 2027.