Clean Power

Published on November 22nd, 2013 | by Joshua S Hill


Alstom Completes World’s Largest Offshore Wind Turbine

November 22nd, 2013 by  

French engineering company Alstom have announced the completion of their at-sea installation of its new-generation offshore wind turbine, the 6-MW Haliade 150, located off Ostend Harbour at the Belwind site in Belgium.

The turbine, the largest offshore wind turbine ever installed in sea waters, boasts a 78 metre tower, a nacelle that stands 100 metres above the waves, blades over 73 metres in length, and pillars sunk over 60 metres into the seabed to support the mammoth construction.

As a result of its impressive specifications, the Haliade sports a yield 15% better than existing offshore turbines, allowing it to power approximately 5,000 households on its own.


“This project with Belwind asserts our technological leadership and our innovative abilities,” said Alstom Wind Senior Vice-President Alfonso Faubel. “The installation of our turbine which is simple, robust and efficient thus contributing in boosting the competitiveness of offshore wind energy.”

The Haliade operates without a gearbox, instead working with direct drive, and due to a permanent-magnet generator there are fewer mechanical parts inside the device, which not only makes it more reliable but also helps to minimise operating and maintenance costs faced by traditional offshore wind turbines. Given the specific expertise necessary to not only maintain a wind turbine, but one located offshore in likely-stormy waters, reducing operating and maintenance costs is a necessity many companies are striving towards.

“Belwind’s tried and tested expertise in completing offshore projects and setting up wind farms has helped Alstom to perform the installation work in sea waters under the best possible conditions,” said Belwind chairman Wim Biesemans. “We are convinced that Alstom’s innovative wind energy technology will contribute in providing one of the future solutions to ensure clean, reliable and efficient energy.”

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  • Doug

    A 6GW turbine can support 5000-6000 homes.

  • Jenny

    It has been apparent that the recent ruling in the courts in the US is upset many people in the renewable energy sector. Of course the obvious ones are those who cannot face reality that wind turbines now will have to be shut down in order to protect the species of birds, interrupting power supply. In any circumstances is a victory for the birds, as the birds which can keep these industries shut down if they continue to fly in the proximity of any wind turbines, it’s the final decision of birds, whether that wind turbines remains in operation or remain shut down.

  • Dave2020

    The UK’s Energy Technologies Institute is planning to use this turbine on a floating demonstrator at Cornwall’s Wave Hub facility. The original ‘request for proposals’ specified 2.3MW. Up-rating the platform to deal with the higher C of G and lateral loading will incur higher construction AND installation costs. A shallow draft design should be THE future industry standard, but they need to think outside the box and do the math on the basis of new concepts, not old tech’.

    There are fundamental technical contradictions in the engineering premise, which the Pelastar TLP has demonstrably failed to address.

    “The first . . was built off Denmark in 1991, but because of regulatory hurdles, offshore wind farms have not yet been built here in the United States.”
    “It is clear that Clemson has built its facility with an eye to the future.”

    Well naturally, nobody’s going to build a research facility that’s stuck in the past . . or are they? Major issues, such as installation and decommissioning, and more importantly WHOLE-system running costs, (O&M, energy storage, smart grid etc.) are not part of the design premise of the turbine itself. That’s a foolish oversight.

    “researching how energy technologies interact with the grid.” – Sure, but we need a clean-sheet approach, not make-do and mend.

  • Others

    Wonderful News.
    Many small islands with few thousand resident’s could install 1 such turbine like this and become grid free. Of course, when wind does not blow, they can use some bio diesel generators.

    In fact an island as large as Ireland could surround itself with the wind mills and reduce the Coal and Oil fired power generation.

  • mikgigs

    6000 households – hardly, this could mean 1 kw per family(eg. 3-4 people)?, or a laptop for 10-11 hours?!?, bullshit – heaters, cooking, tv, xbox, illumination, air conditioning, electronics, phone – let’s be realistic – 300-400 households, IF wind is constant. which is not possible on our Earth. Finaly, combining with extremely high cost for offshore installment – still expensive, and dirty nukes still have dirty tricks for cheaper energy.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Do you not understand that running a grid with coal and nuclear also requires storage and dispatchable generation?

      What we don’t have in this article is the average daily output number for this turbine. We know its nameplate capacity but that doesn’t tell us the output capacity. Someone who apparently had the CF did the math to get to 6,000 households. The way you attempted the math is clearly incorrect.

      6,000 kWh at 50% CF would be an average of 72,000 kWh/day. 14.4 kWh per household. That’s roughly the per capita consumption of electricity in Belgium in 2008. Belgium household size is around 2.3, not the 3-4 you claim. Multiple people in a household share a lot of the energy use. And we have become more efficient since 2008. 14.4 kWh per household? Possible.

      • mikgigs

        completely correct

      • globi

        14.4 kWh is a piece of cake – my household is at 2.5 kWh. Most people are unaware what is doable with efficient appliances.

    • S.Nkm

      I don’t think you understand the difference between energy and power…

    • mlkgigs, I can see from your post that you

      didn’t realise that they are talking European households,

      don’t know that offshore wind turbines have a capacity factor of > 40%, so the 1 kW of offhore wind generates 3500 kWh per year,

      don’t understand the difference between power and energy,

      didn’t learn that wind can backup itself (wind is always blowing somewhere in Europe),

      Feel welcome at any time to learn more about renewable energy.

    • Others

      Only American and Australian houses consume 3 KW, rest of the World’s houses consume only 1 KW. And houses dont use the power for 24 hours like factories. So this 1 wind mill will power 6000 houses.

      If we keep burning Coal and Oil, then every city has to follow this

    • Gary

      Australian household average is around 7MWh per year. That is 19 kWh per day which is an average power demand of less than 1kW.

    • Matt

      If nuke is so cheap, why did UK government have to promise twice the going rate to get a new nuke built.

  • agelbert

    Five thousand households from just ONE wind turbine.


    The fossil nukers out there will, once again, be forced to lower their ridiculous hyperbole about “how many” of this, that or the other Renewable Energy devices from PV to wind turbine numbers it would take to replace fossil fuel centralized dirty energy.

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