GE Renewable Energy announced on Wednesday that it has successfully installed and begun operations of the company’s largest onshore wind turbine, the Cypress 5.3 megawatt (MW) prototype.
GE Renewable Energy first announced its new platform of onshore wind turbines back in September of 2017 when it unveiled its brand new 4.8–158 onshore wind turbine.
“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,” explained Pete McCabe, President & CEO of GE’s Onshore Wind Business at the time. “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.”
A year later, GE Renewable Energy announced the upgraded 5.3 MW version and the new “Cypress Platform” naming convention. The new Cypress turbines are designed to produce over 20 gigawatt-hours of power annually and offer a 50% increase in Annual Energy Production over their lifespan.
On Wednesday of this week, GE Renewable Energy announced that its 5.3 MW Cypress prototype had not only been successfully installed in late 2018 but that it had begun generating first power in February 2019. Located in Wieringermeer, in the Netherlands, the Cypress 5.3 MW prototype will continue to operate over the coming months to further validate the performance of the Cypress Platform and also to support its obtaining the Type Certificate, a key step in the product’s commercialisation.
GE Renewable Energy hopes to deliver the first Cypress turbines by the end of the year.
“We’re delighted with the progress our team has been able to make in bringing our innovative, high-tech turbine to market on an accelerated schedule,” said Jérôme Pécresse, CEO of GE Renewable Energy. “We are confident that Cypress, with its two-piece blade design, will be a game changer for the industry. We’re hearing equal enthusiasm from our customers across the globe, who tell us they appreciate the potential of Cypress to help them both lower the cost of onshore wind and gain added flexibility in siting turbines.”
The Cypress Platform of turbines are offered with multiple power ratings and varying hub heights, enabling a lower cost of electricity by matching each wind turbine to specific site needs. Designed with a “revolutionary” two-piece blade design which makes it possible to use larger rotors and site the turbines in a wider variety of locations, the Cypress turbines can thus be installed at locations that were previously inaccessible.
“The project is truly coming together in a very short and demanding time frame,” added Duncan Berry, CEO of LM Wind Power. “We have invented a new and effective solution for a blade in two parts, which is borne of the full expertise of LM Wind Power engineers combined with design input from GE Renewable Energy and GE Research. The technology results from decades of blade making knowledge and experience.”