Champions of change

How EDF Renewables and Siemens Gamesa are re-imagining a wind-powered America

Orlando / 1 October 2020

Carbon neutrality is a bold change, one that can minimize the impact of the climate crisis. Both EDF Renewables and Siemens Gamesa are leading the way and setting an example for others to follow: EDF by targeting carbon neutrality by 2050 and Siemens Gamesa by targeting net-zero emissions by 2050. The companies share a vision of a sustainable future powered by clean, affordable energy, made possible through partnership and innovation. The Oso Grande and Coyote projects in the U.S. exemplify this strong collaboration with EDF Renewables becoming the first customer to deploy the Siemens Gamesa 4.X onshore platform in the US.

Communication Department
In early 2020, France’s EDF Group set an ambitious target – to halve its emissions and turn carbon neutral by 2050. In a video posted on the Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leader’s Group website, the company’s Chairman and CEO, Jean-Bernard Lévy, notes, “Ambitious targets – they have the power of mobilizing people towards common goals. They play out like a catalyst, so the people will get the sense of urgency, and this will help all of us align between strategy and concrete goals.”

This sense of urgency is shared by Siemens Gamesa, who achieved carbon neutrality in late 2019. Both companies are signatories of the Business Ambition for 1.5°C coalition and Siemens Gamesa has recently had its science-based target verified by the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi), aiming for significant carbon emission reductions by 2025. This enables the company to achieve its net-zero ambition by 2050.
The wind power industry is veering towards larger turbines to lower the cost of energy
Bound by a shared vision
A shared purpose underscores the partnership that these two driving forces have forged, especially in the U.S. Five years ago, the companies signed agreements to strengthen their relationship which led to the Rock Falls project in 2017 and the Stoneray project in 2019.

“Last year, we were selected for the Oso Grande and Coyote wind farms. It was a defining moment in our U.S. partnership. We not only doubled our installed capacity with EDF Renewables, but also secured the country’s first order for the SG 4.5-145 wind turbine,” observes Danielle Kessinger, Sales Manager – Western U.S., Siemens Gamesa. “A proactive approach to identifying opportunities, working with the EDF 
Renewables team early on helped. Five years of hard work by both of our teams to build a stronger relationship paid off!”
The quest for clean, affordable electricity
The wind power industry is veering towards larger turbines to lower the cost of energy. As per a study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), “supersizing” wind turbines by increasing the rotor diameter, tower height and nameplate capacity reduces the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCoE) of wind energy. This can be achieved through innovation as embodied by the SG 4.5-145, one of the largest onshore wind turbines installed in the U.S., significantly contributing to making wind power more affordable and reliable.
Continuous collaboration builds trust
EDF Renewables started developing the 247-MW Oso Grande Wind project in southeastern New Mexico, U.S. in 2018-19. The electricity will be delivered to Tucson, connected to TEP’s transmission system in eastern Arizona, and power 100,000 homes. In 2019, the company also announced the 242-MW Coyote project in Scurry County, Texas.
The 247-MW Oso Grande in New Mexico and the 242-MW Coyote farm in Texas mark several milestones for Siemens Gamesa in the U.S: the first order for the SG 4.5 145 wind turbines, and the doubling of installed capacity with EDF Renewables, making 2020 a record year of installations.
After extensive discussions with Siemens Gamesa, EDF Renewables chose the SG 4.5-145 for these two projects. Since this was the first order for this product in the U.S., the project developer, along with the BOP contractors on their shortlist, were invited to an exclusive workshop in June 2019 to help them better prepare for executing projects in 2020, shaping up to be a busy year in the industry.
According to Etienne Bibor, Vice President of Wind Product Management and Procurement, "EDF Renewables selected the SG 4.5-145 technology early in the product development cycle. The journey to pioneer this new wind turbine has been interesting and challenging. Both companies demonstrated a win-win mindset and great collaboration along the way to successfully put the SG 4.5-145 into operation.”

Siemens Gamesa connected with EDF Renewables at every level, from the company’s BOP contractors and project teams, to the leadership. The EDF Renewables team and the BOP contractor attended the SG 4.5-145 pre-assembly test at Ágreda, Spain in December 2019, where the first units for Oso Grande were manufactured. The team was taken through the different steps in the manufacturing process and testing. They also attended the second prototype installation in Denmark.
EDF Renewables started developing the 247-MW Oso Grande Wind project
“Gaining the customer’s confidence is crucial. Our sustained collaboration helped establish the SG 4.5-145 as a winning solution and confirmed our ability to deliver as per their expectations,” notes Joao Moreira, Program Manager, Siemens Gamesa.

“The EDF Renewables team understands how wind works. They have clear goals and are hands-on. Together, we’ve minimized the impact of COVID-19 lockdowns to ensure the commercial operations date is not impacted for either project. Our focus now is to get the turbines up and running,” adds Moreira.
The project forms part of the ‘Partnerships with Purpose’ series of articles highlighting inspiring projects that Siemens Gamesa is working on with partners to tackle the climate crisis through the power of relationships, innovation, people and community.


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