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Keystone Tower Systems and GE Renewable Energy announce operation of first commercial spiral-welded wind turbine tower

Keystone and GE collaborated to design the 89m tall tower for the GE 2.8-127 wind turbine and have received a 40-year component certification from TÜV NORD

This collaboration with Keystone is an example of GE’s commitment to working with partners to bring new and innovative technology to the wind industry and advance domestic manufacturing.”
— Vic Abate, GE Renewable Energy’s CEO, Onshore Wind
DENVER, COLORADO, UNITED STATES, February 21, 2023 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Keystone Tower Systems and GE Renewable Energy today announced a major milestone in the development of tapered spiral welding with the installation of the first commercial spiral-welded wind tower on a 2.8MW GE turbine. The installation is the result of a multi-year collaboration between Keystone and GE to design and produce spiral-welded towers for GE wind turbines.

The tower was manufactured at Keystone’s factory in Pampa, Texas, located in the Texas Panhandle. The brownfield factory was built at an idled facility that formerly made drilling equipment for the oil and gas industry and will ultimately bring back nearly 200 manufacturing jobs to the region. When at full capacity the factory will be capable of producing approximately 1GW of towers per year. This increase in domestic manufacturing capacity is coming online at a critical time with a significant expansion in need for wind turbine components driven by the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act.

Keystone’s tapered spiral welding process brings the speed, quality, and consistency of automated manufacturing to wind tower manufacturing. Keystone designs and builds its own custom spiral welding manufacturing equipment. The manufacturing process is designed to utilize coil steel, enabling a new segment of highly efficient domestic steel mills to supply into the wind industry.

While this first factory is in a fixed location, Keystone is also developing mobile factories capable of building taller towers directly at the wind site, as detailed in the U.S. Department of Energy’s May 2022 publication, “How Spiral Welding is Revolutionizing Wind Turbine Manufacturing.”

Keystone is now ramping up production of spiral welded towers, with additional deliveries targeted for Q1 2023. The first product is an 89-meter tall spiral welded tower for the GE 2.8-127 turbine, designed to be used interchangeably with GE’s conventional 89m tall tower. The spiral tower has received a component certification from TÜV NORD for a 40-year lifetime. Keystone and GE have also collaborated on a tower design for the GE’s 3MW turbine platform and have signed a multi-year supply agreement for spiral towers from Keystone’s Pampa factory.

“This is the culmination of a dream we had to bring advanced manufacturing to the tower industry to help drive down the cost of wind energy and expand where wind is competitive into new regions,” said Eric Smith, Keystone’s co-founder and CTO. “I’m very proud of the years of hard work our team has invested in developing and scaling up tapered spiral welding.”

“This collaboration with Keystone is an example of GE’s commitment to working with partners to bring new and innovative technology to the wind industry and advance domestic manufacturing,” said Vic Abate, GE Renewable Energy’s CEO, Onshore Wind. “We are delighted to be a part of this exciting opportunity for our workhorse products, with the goal of providing affordable, sustainable renewable energy to our customers and helping to deliver on the energy transition.”

To learn more, visit www.keystonetowersystems.com and www.ge.com/renewableenergy

About GE Renewable Energy
GE Renewable Energy, an integral part of the GE Vernova portfolio of energy businesses, is a $16 billion business which combines one of the broadest portfolios in the renewable energy industry to provide end-to-end solutions for our customers demanding reliable and affordable green power. Combining onshore and offshore wind, blades, hydro, storage, utility-scale solar, and grid solutions as well as hybrid renewables and digital services offerings, GE Renewable Energy has installed more than 400+ gigawatts of clean renewable energy and equipped more than 90 percent of utilities worldwide with its grid solutions. With nearly 40,000 employees present in more than 80 countries, GE Renewable Energy creates value for customers seeking to power the world with affordable, reliable and sustainable green electrons.
GE Vernova, a dynamic accelerator comprised of our Power, Renewable Energy, Digital, and Energy Financial Services businesses, focused on supporting customers’ transformations during the energy transition.

Follow us at www.ge.com/renewableenergy, on www.linkedin.com/company/gerenewableenergy, or on twitter.com/GErenewables

Media Contact:
Becky Norton
GE Renewable Energy
becky.norton@ge.com
+1 518 522 8832

About Keystone Tower Systems
Keystone Tower Systems is a manufacturing and technology company focused on driving down the cost of wind energy through advancements in the design and manufacturing of wind turbine towers. Keystone both develops new tower designs and develops new manufacturing processes optimized for the production of towers. Our core technology, tapered spiral welding, is a highly automated process covered by more than 100 patents. The first tower manufacturing facility operating a tapered spiral mill is based in Pampa, Texas. Find more information: www.keystonetowersystems.com

Peter Kelley
RenewComm LLC
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