Wind turbine manufacturer gets financial backing
Envision Energy (Jiangsu) Co, a private wind power generation equipment manufacturer and distributor, is ramping up efforts to bring green energy projects to China’s inland cities and to offer digitalized solutions to wind farm operations, with the support of China CITIC Bank Corp.
For safety, wind farm owners set higher technical requirements on turbines installed in inland areas that record much slower wind speeds, compared to those spinning in mountain areas.
Since the end of 2017, Envision Energy has overseen a pilot project, operating several 2-megawatt and 3-megawatt wind turbines in Jiangyin, Jiangsu province, where the average wind speed is only 5.92 meters per second at a height of 140 meters, according to data collected over the last 20 years.
At this height, the turbine towers dwarf most towers in China, which are typically 80 to 90 meters high. The utilization time of wind power is around 2,500 hours a year for each turbine.
Unlike wind farms situated on plateaus or mountains, distributed wind turbines are installed in areas that have a huge power demand. That allows the electricity to be used locally, rather than transmitted over long distances — reducing natural power loss and increasing efficiency.
“The development of distributed wind power generation systems in China truly started this year,” said Le Xiuqing, director of investment and financing at Envision Energy. “Compared with centralized wind power plants, the market prospects for distributed wind power projects are much broader.”
The company has developed the technology itself, allowing electricity generated by its wind turbines to connect to the grid with no need to step up the voltage level through a power converter.
Envision Energy is also helping to digitalize the industry. It has developed a platform, compatible with most turbines, which displays real-time statuses for the equipment. Using this platform, the company can help wind farm developers to make precise investment solutions at the initial stage of development, according to Jiang Min, office and government affairs manager at Envision Energy.
The company also helps other wind turbine manufacturers to evaluate the performance of their turbines, and to make adjustments to their operations and maintenance practices accordingly.
In 2010, Envision Energy still had a small output, when its sample wind turbines came off the production line. China CITIC Bank, however, took an optimistic view of the clean energy sector, and granted a 50 million yuan ($7.3 million) credit line to the company.
The bank also helped the company to become a qualified contractor as it bid for wind energy projects. CITIC offered performance guarantees to the contractor, backing the full and due performance of the contract, according to the plans and specifications.
Their cooperation later expanded into many other fields including project finance and offshore bond issuance. The company has also benefited from leasing, insurance and asset securitization services, which are provided by financial institutions related to CITIC Bank.