Big rotors king for 2010+
A few years back, it was quite common to see various turbine manufacturers releasing their latest Class IA turbine, followed rather quickly with a class II and III rotor. This was typically just a longer blade with minimal nacelle changes. The Vestas 2WM, Siemens 2.3 MW, and GE 1.5 MW platforms are good examples of this.

This was understandable at the time, as there were numerous easily exploitable IA sites around, with demand in the market for suitable class IA turbines. However now in 2009, as we are rapidly shooting past 100 GW of installed capacity around the world, the number of high-wind sites that are also close to the grid and easily developable are becoming quite rare (although there is no shortage of high-wind sites in the world) – a quick chat with any developer will tell you that! The dominant sites for 2010+ are looking to be for class II and class III.
Preempting this, we are seeing the latest generation of turbines being released with this in mind. No longer are turbine manufacturers jumping straight in with their smaller-rotor IA machines. The first release looks to be the II/IIIA specific turbine, with the IA coming later as an after thought (if at all). Have a look at the new Repower 3.xM, Vestas V112-3MW, and GE 2.5XL. Adding to this the last iteration of existing nacelles with new class III rotors: Siemens 2.3-101, Vestas V100-1.8, and the Nordex N100-2.5 ; big rotors are set to be king for 2010+.

Picture of the SWT-2.3-92 I took in the US.  Progression from Class IA (82m rotor) to class IIA (92m rotor) to class IIIA (101m rotor) in around 5 years.


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