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Gamesa has again demonstrated its commitment to and leadership in environmental protection and product improvement in the renewable energy industry by obtaining Ecodesign certification - granted by rating agency TÜV in accordance with ISO 14006/2011 standards -- for its G128-4.5 MW wind turbine, the first time any wind turbine in the world has achieved Ecodesign status.
Gamesa thus guarantees that this turbine generates the least possible environmental impact throughout its lifecycle: from the design of all of its components -- the stage at which 80% of all impacts generated by a product, process or service are determined - to the materials selection, manufacturing, packaging and distribution, installation, operation and maintenance and dismantling processes.
"By ecodesigning the Gamesa G128-4.5 MW, we can continue incorporating environmental issues into the design of the product itself and the development of cutting-edge technologies, leaving the focus on our priority goals: reducing the Cost of Energy and promoting energy efficiency. Without a doubt, these factors give us competitive advantages," said José Ignacio Larretxi, Gamesa's managing director of Business Excellence.
This effort has also enabled the company to optimise its manufacturing process, lessen the environmental impact of installation and operation work, make maintenance more competitive, extend the turbine's useful life and optimise its de-commissioning, facilitating the dismantling process.
Ecodesign is a tool which improves the product, in terms of both environmental impacts and efficiency and costs, facilitates processes and offers a greater number of viewpoints when making design decisions.
The G128-4.5 MW is the world's most powerful turbine on the land-based wind energy market, with unit capacity of 4.5 MW.
The annual output of a single Gamesa 4.5 MW turbine is enough to:
The Ecodesign certification process for the G128-4.5 MW involved a total of 400 Gamesa personnel, from both the environment and technology divisions and the team responsible for designing and developing the turbine system.
The process for incorporating ecodesign principles as one of the company's tools represents an investment exceeding 3 million euros. "Our technical staff have noticed this tool's usefulness and the improvements it adds to the product, in both environmental and efficiency and cost terms," said Iñaki López, Gamesa's director of Environment and Energy Efficiency.
The achievement of this milestone, and its results, will enable the company to extend ecodesign principles to new products and services. "In fact, we have become the world's first renewable energy company to obtain this certification, not only for the Gamesa 4.5 MW product but also for the entire company anywhere in the world," said Head of Environment in Technology Javier Fernández de la Hoz.
In this context, future efforts in ecodesign will be geared towards bringing the supply chain into line with this methodology. "Environmental requirements will include the ecodesign of products and services and the authorisation of alternative suppliers," said López. These initiatives will also encompass the development of new turbine systems bearing the ecodesign seal, such as offshore machines (Gamesa is at work on a 5.0 MW platform).
"Our goal is to introduce ecodesign throughout our integrated management system, so that from now on any turbine or service Gamesa launches on the market will include ecodesign principles," said Larretxi.
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