Vestas in Q2 regains lead from GE in hotly competitive US market

Vestas in the second quarter regained the lead in the intensely competitive US wind turbine market from arch-rival GE Renewable Energy, while both Nordex and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) improved their relative positions in the 41.8GW project pipeline, according to latest American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) figures.

Vestas installed 704MW of 736MW total in the US and GE the remaining 32MW. That enabled it to pull ahead of GE in the first half with 770MW versus 663MW with SGRE third (143MW).

The Vestas – GE battle for supremacy in the world’s second largest wind market is now in its fifth year with neither OEM able to pull ahead much from the other. Vestas dominates the 2MW and 3-4.5MW platform classes and GE the huge 2.5MW segment, AWEA said in its US Wind Industry Second Quarter 2019 Market Report.

After GE edged Vestas in 2018 for new capacity – 3.01GW versus 2.88GW – AWEA numbers suggest the Danish vendor could come out on top this year. Vestas has about 5GW of capacity under construction versus roughly 3GW for the US company.

Yet GE appears poised to re-take the crown in 2020 as it has been named turbine supplier for about 2GW more projects in advanced stages of development than Vestas. And the AWEA numbers do not appear to include three American Electric Power projects in Oklahoma totaling 1.5GW that GE will supply.

The US market is booming as developers race to complete projects by the end of 2020 to qualify them for the federal tax credit at 100% value. Total installations could exceed 10GW versus 7.6GW in 2018, and 8-9GW in 2021 for projects eligible at 80% value..

Because both OEMs have packed order books and their ability to take on much more work is limited, their combined share of the total US project pipeline where the developer has announced a turbine supplier – about 22GW – declined in the second quarter from 85% to 77%.

Benefitting were SGRE and Nordex which boosted their pipeline shares to 14% and 7%, respectively. Goldwind held a minor amount.

A total of 46 different turbine models have been reported for land-based projects under construction and in advanced development, ranging in size from 1.5MW to 4.5MW.

Roughly two thirds of projects underway that have reported turbine models will use turbines with a nameplate capacity between 2 MW to under 3 MW, while one third will use turbines rated 3 MW and above.

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