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With new turbine, Alstom aims for low-wind geographies

Alstom says its new onshore wind turbine, with extra long rotor blades, can help increase energy generation in low-wind regions around the globe.

French industrial conglomerate Alstom announced on Wednesday the launch of a new onshore wind turbine that it says can help boost how much energy is generated in low-wind regions around the globe.

The ECO 122 is rated at 2.7 megawatts and has a massive, 400-ft. (122 m.) wide rotor to maximize how much energy is harvested from the wind. The longer rotor blades are the key to the turbine's efficiency, which can produce 25 percent more yield compared to existing turbines rated between 1.5 and 2 megawatts.

That efficiency affects the bottom line, since more energy means fewer turbines installed to get the same amount of energy -- roughly six ECO 122 turbines for every nine conventional models.

Alstom claims capital expenditure savings on an ECO 122-powered wind farm of 10 to 15 percent, mostly owing to fewer foundations, platforms, roads and cables. The question is whether there's enough of a premium on the turbine's price to wipe out any savings within a reasonable product life-cycle.

The first turbine will be installed in mid-2012; commercial deliveries are expected in 2013.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com