GE to develop the most powerful offshore wind turbine

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GE Renewable Energy announced plans to develop the largest, most powerful offshore wind turbine: the Haliade-X.

Featuring a 12 MW direct drive generator and a gross capacity factor of 63 percent, the Haliade-X will produce 45 percent more energy than any other offshore turbine available today, GE said.

GE will invest more than $400 million over the next three to five years in development and deployment of the Haliade-X.

John Flannery, chairman and CEO of GE, said, “We want to lead in the technologies that are driving the global energy transition. Offshore wind is one of those technologies and we will bring the full resources of GE to make the Haliade-X program successful for our customers.”

Towering 260 meters over the sea, more than five times the size of the iconic Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France, the Haliade-X 12 MW carries a 220-meter rotor.

Designed and manufactured by LM Wind Power, the 107-meter-long blades will be the longest offshore blades to date and will be longer than the size of a soccer field.

One Haliade-X 12 MW turbine will generate up to 67 GWh annually, enough clean power for up to 5,000 households per turbine, and up to 300,000 U.S. households in a 750 MW windfarm configuration.

Jérôme Pécresse, president and CEO of GE Renewable Energy said, “The renewables industry took more than 20 years to install the first 17 GW of offshore wind. Today, the industry forecasts that it will install more than 90 GW over the next 12 years. This is being driven by lower cost of electricity from scale and technology. The Haliade-X shows GE’s commitment to the offshore wind segment and will set a new benchmark for cost of electricity, thus driving more offshore growth.”

The ability to produce more power from a single turbine means a smaller number of turbines in the total farm, which translates to less capital expenditure for the balance of plant and reduced risk in project execution as the installation cycle time is reduced. It also simplifies operation and maintenance of the wind farm. All of this reduces the investment and operation cost for developers, makes offshore wind projects more profitable, and ultimately lowers cost of electricity for consumers.

GE’s Haliade-X platform is designed to offer greater efficiency in generating power from the wind that is available. With a 63 percent gross capacity factor, the Haliade-X 12 MW is five to seven points above the current industry benchmark. Therefore, it will produce more energy per MW installed, which will significantly increase returns for customers.

To design and build the Haliade-X platform, GE Renewable Energy is relying on an unprecedented collaboration across the GE portfolio, leveraging the knowledge of GE’s Onshore wind team, with 50,000 turbines in the field; the blade expertise of LM Power Wind; the GE Power and GE Aviation engineers for peer reviews of component and systems design; the Global Research Center for control systems and component validation; and GE Digital for supporting digital modelling, analytics and app development, the program is a GE-wide effort, the company said.

GE Renewable Energy aims to supply its first nacelle for demonstration in 2019 and ship the first units in 2021.

editor@greentechlead.com