New towers and hub heights for North America

21 May 2019

Fluctuating steel prices, falling electricity production costs, technological leaps – the US wind power market is facing significant challenges. Hybrid Towers from Max Bögl Wind AG are already known in Europe and Asia for their high hub heights. Now it’s time for the US wind power industry to benefit from the modular tower concept as well. From 20-23 May in Houston, Texas, the German company will present the advantages of its Hybrid Tower concept and its plans for the North American market to the industry from booth 3215 at the AWEA Windpower.

Steel wind power towers in the USA have an average hub height of 80 metres and a turbine output of 1.63MW. It is expected these will add 10GW of turbine capacity this year and twelve gigawatts next year. The industry assumes that in 2021, growth will decrease significantly and that already low electricity production costs must also continue to fall. One reason for this is the Production Tax Credit (PTC) development programme, which expires this year. Project planners will place a stronger focus on the commercial viability of wind farm projects.

High hub heights are economical

The modular tower concept from Max Bögl Wind AG made up of steel and concrete elements allows high hub heights to be realised economically. Each additional metre increases the energy yield of the turbine by 0.5% to 1%. At the same time, Hybrid Towers are predestined for new, more powerful turbines and larger rotor blades.

"We recognise the need for US project planners to increase the yield of wind turbines. The industry is preoccupied with the loss of subsidies and fluctuating steel prices. Our Hybrid Towers provide the appropriate response," says Christoph Bosch, Head of Sales at Max Bögl Wind AG. The Bavarian company sees potential for its Hybrid Tower system especially in the Northeast of the USA. 

Production with local labour and raw materials

Another factor that speaks for the innovative tower concept is Mobile Fabrication. Consisting of four halls with an area of 40,000 square metres, all production facilities are housed in a way similar to the factory production in Germany. Local raw materials and labour, as well as fewer heavy-load transports, protect the climate while improving the economic viability of the project.

The company won this year's bauma Innovation Award in the construction methods category for its Mobile Fabrication. This prize is awarded in five categories every three years at the bauma, the world's leading trade fair for construction machinery, building material machines, mining machines, construction vehicles and construction equipment and is considered the most important prize of the international construction industry.

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