We’ll let our top headlines speak for themselves: factories announced and opened; agreements signed and products launched with multiple, global customers; hundreds of new colleagues – and a boat – welcomed to the LM Wind Power family; and a new chapter opened for our business as part of GE Renewable Energy!
Take a look back at our 12 can’t-miss moments from 2017, made possible by colleagues in 10 countries on four continents!
We opened the year with big news from Canada: Factory expansion brings 265 new jobs to Gaspé! The new investment, announced at the factory in the presence of three Ministers of the Quebec government, the Deputy of Gaspé and the Mayor of Gaspé, is a case study in how collaboration between government and industry can yield long term economic growth – especially in regions where a shortage of high value jobs and skills pervades. The expansion of our Gaspé factory, which received financial support of almost USD 5.7 million from the Government of Quebec, is clear evidence of how support for green industries can create new, highly-skilled and valuable employment.
We announced our first new factory of 2017 in Cherbourg, Normandy, France – which will manufacture offshore wind turbine blades for multiple customers as we respond to the demand for new offshore capacity in Northern Europe. One month later, we marked the start of construction with a foundation stone ceremony, chaired by French Prime Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, in the presence of industry and representatives from the local partners, including Normandy region, the Manche Department, the local community of Cherbourg and the port authority, Ports Normands Associés (PNA). Ultimately, we expect to employ over 550 people, with as many as 2,000 further indirect jobs resulting in the local area.
An original LM Mermaid sailboat - named Aphrodite – came home to Lunderskov, Denmark on March 7, 2017. It was unveiled during the 2017 WWOW! (Winning the World of Wind) strategy event, where a captivated audience of 130 colleagues watched a film about the search for the LM Mermaid. This original LM yacht will now live on Kolding Fjord in Denmark. It will be managed and sailed by our employees, under the supervision of LM Captains trained for the purpose. Stay tuned in 2018 for more about this special piece of LM heritage!
On April 20, 2017 we became part of GE Renewable Energy, in a joint effort to power a cleaner world and unleash limitless energy. Our long-standing partnership with GE has yielded many innovations and commercial successes. Now, as part of GE Renewable Energy, together we can offer higher performing, more productive wind turbines, while continuing to reduce the cost of energy and improve returns on our customers’ investments. At the same time, we are equally committed to maintaining and growing our business with all customers. See how our colleagues at our Denmark headquarters celebrated this historic moment.
In May our global expansion continued, with our fourth Chinese factory announced in Baodi! This latest addition to our global footprint, located in the Baodi district in the north eastern part of China, started production this year and is expected to create 500 jobs.
In June we successfully completed the installation and testing of a 66.5 meter wind turbine blade, ordered by Hitachi, Ltd for offshore application. Installation of the 66.5 meter blade began in 2016 with the aim of optimizing Hitachi’s 5.2MW platform to operate effectively also in lower wind sites. The new LM blades – produced in our manufacturing facility in Jiangyin, China – will now enable Hitachi to offer their 5.2MW wind turbine with a rotor size of 136 meters. The blades were tested on a wind turbine of the Kashima Port Fukashiba Wind Power Station in east Japan since October 2016.
July 11, 2017 marked the grand opening of our new factory in Bergama, Turkey – with 450 skilled employees ready to produce blades up to 80 meters in length for regional wind farms. The facility, which is located in Bergama Organized Industrial Zone (BOSBI), is expected to manufacture and distribute an annual capacity of 500 megawatts (MW) with the capability to expand to 1.5 gigawatts (GW). The Bergama facility was our first new blade manufacturing site since we became a GE Renewable Energy business. It represents a $50 million commitment to Turkey and will create up to 450 additional skilled technical jobs for the region, which range from manufacturing operations, to technical engineering, services, administration and ancillary support.
In many ways, the LM Wind Power Technology Center India (TCI) is a microcosm of our global business. With more than 170 employees contributing to almost every function around the world – including Engineering, Operations, Industrialization, IT, Global Quality, EHS, Market Intelligence and more – the center is a glowing example of who we are, how we work and why we are pioneers at what we do. This year, the Great Place to Work Institute recognized the success of this outstanding team, ranking TCI at number 36 among the Top 50 Mid-Size Companies in India! Among the 400+ companies in India participating in this year’s ranking across various sectors, our Technology Center India was the only renewables-sector, mid-size company making it to the Top 50. This year TCI also celebrated 10 years of successful operations in Bangalore.
On September 20, we launched the hub for the GE Women’s Network in Denmark, coinciding with the network’s 20-year anniversary. GE's Women’s Network is the largest of the affinity networks in the GE family, with 160 hubs across the globe and more than 70,000 participants. Looking at the proportion of men and women in LM Wind Power and GE, there is a clear unbalance which becomes even more apparent at the top of the company. “We don’t know exactly why the gender ratio looks like this across our business, and we don’t intend to solve that in one session,” said Dorte Kamper, LM Wind Power’s Deputy Head of Sales. “But, clearly there is potential that we aren’t tapping into, and this Women’s Network can help us explore how to improve.”
At October’s China Windpower trade show in Beijing, we showed our commitment to the growing Chinese offshore wind market with two exciting announcements. First, on October 18, we introduced our longest blade in China: the LM 75.1 P, tailor-made for Goldwind’s new 6.7 megawatt (MW) offshore wind turbine. Goldwind’s 6.7 MW platform will be the largest offshore turbine in China and, combined with the LM 75.1 P, it is designed specifically for the Wind Class I offshore areas in South China off the coasts of Fujian and Guangdong.
Then, on October 19, we announced the signing of an agreement to develop a 71.8 meter blade for Chinese offshore leader Envision. The deal is followed by a supply agreement from our Jiangyin factory in Jiangsu, China that will require a 50% expansion of this manufacturing facility. The new 71.8 meter blade will equip Envision’s new 4.5 MW platform and is expected to be installed in H1 2018. The new large-rotor turbine is designed to effectively serve the Wind Class II and III areas in north China offshore.
On November 20, the first LM 73.5 P wind turbine blade successfully arrived at Castellón Port. It is the largest blade ever produced and transported through Spain. Destined for the Merkur offshore wind farm in Germany to power GE’s Haliade 150-6 MW turbine offshore, the 73.5 meter blade began its journey at our factory in Castellón, and travelled 45 kilometers (km) by road to reach the port. This new size record in Spain reflects the fast development of the wind industry to continuously introduce longer and more complex blades, designed to lower the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) and serve the growing offshore market. Watch the amazing drone footage from the blade transport on YouTube!
With our latest Sustainability Report launched in December, once again we raised the bar. Reporting for us is not simply about fulfilling the reporting criteria under the guidelines of Global Reporting Initiative and the United Nations Global Compact. Rather, we strive to create a document which can be directly useful as a management tool. “Sustainability at LM Wind Power is about cleaning up our act and living our vision but it is driven by cost reduction, efficiency and business improvements,” said Marc de Jong, CEO. “We have programs to maintain and improve our safety, protect the environment wherever we operate, improve our technology and develop our people. I believe that sustainability is not superficial or external to LM Wind Power. It is our business.”
Factory expansion brings 265 new jobs to Gaspé, Canada
New Cherbourg blade factory announced, to serve the offshore wind market
A piece of LM heritage comes home
LM Wind Power becomes part of GE Renewable Energy!
Global expansion continues, with fourth Chinese factory announced in Baodi
New LM 66.5 offshore blades for Hitachi, successfully installed and tested
Production begins at new wind turbine blade plant in Turkey!
LM Wind Power Technology Center ranks among India's top 50 workplaces!
Celebrating 20 years of the GE Women’s Network, with a new hub launched in Denmark
Introducing our longest blade in China: The LM 75.1 P, tailor-made for Goldwind offshore
LM Wind Power 73.5 meter blade arrives at Castellón Port - the largest wind turbine blade ever made and transported in Spain
Sustainability in 2016 - how did we do?
Rudolph's case for wind
For being such a good Santa last year, the renewable reindeer got him the latest carbon neutral sleigh on the market...see what they did next!
Season's Greetings and a greener New Year!
The Case for Wind
In 10 Blade Points
Wind power, renewable energy, climate change, sustainable business practices - there are many hot topics surrounding our business, and it's time we voiced our opinion.
Wow, what a year!
Another year of big news, and BIG blades.
Take a look back at our top stories of 2016.
We know blades
We are blade specialists, and we know what it takes to build the most advanced, reliable and high-quality wind turbine blades in the industry.