GE Renewable Energy unveiled its largest onshore wind turbine this week, a 4.8 megawatt turbine which is able to generate enough electricity at low to medium wind sites for the equivalent of 5,000 homes.
A lot of attention is paid to offshore wind turbines, deservedly so, given their mammoth size and impressive generating capabilities. Offshore wind turbine size continues to increase, and this month saw news that the Walney Extension West offshore wind farm would be the first project in the world to use wind turbines surpassing 8 megawatts (MW) — MHI Vestas V164-8.0 MW wind turbines that have been optimized to generate at 8.25 MW.
However, just as important — if not more so, considering their greater popularity and economic viability — onshore wind turbines have also been increasing in capacity, and GE Renewable Energy this week unveiled its newest and largest onshore wind turbine, a 4.8 MW turbine measuring in at 240 meters and with a rotor diameter of 158 meters, which on its own will be able to generate enough electricity for the equivalent of 5,000 European homes.
“The 4.8–158 design is an important next step in turbine technology and efficiency, and we’re excited to introduce this turbine at this moment in time,” said Pete McCabe, President & CEO of GE’s Onshore Wind Business. “It is well suited for low to medium wind speed regions worldwide — examples include Germany, Turkey and Australia — as well as for mechanisms like auctions, as countries around the world are putting an increased emphasis on lowering the cost of energy.”
This is GE’s first 4 MW onshore wind turbine and is purpose-built to generate in low to medium wind sites — an important development, as many high wind sites have already been developed, and countries and developers look for more opportunities in less optimal conditions. Developing technology specifically for less-optimal renewable energy sites is a key step in continuing the development of renewable energy, and simply good business for technology manufacturers.
“This turbine is a great example of what we can achieve through the GE Store, combining technology and development with innovative design and expertise from the Global Research Center, LM Wind Power and Blade Dynamics,” added McCabe. “We collected input from more than 30 customers around the world to ensure we are meeting their specific turbine needs with this product as they work to provide lower-cost renewable energy.”