GE’s 12 Megawatt Haliade-X Offshore Wind Turbine Destined For Testing In The UK

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GE Renewable Energy announced this week that its 12 megawatt (MW) Haliade-X offshore wind turbine will head to the United Kingdom as part of an advanced technology testing program at the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult’s site in Blyth.

Image Credit: GE Renewable Energy

Announced in March of 2018, GE Renewable Energy’s 12 MW Haliade-X behemoth is set to be the largest wind turbine in the world when it begins shipping in 2021, and will measure in at 260 meters in height and boast a 220-meter rotor, capable of generating enough clean electricity for 16,000 households all on its own.

The first prototype is already being shipped to its first testing grounds in Maasvlakte-Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, where it will undergo testing in preparation for obtaining its Type Certificate. GE Renewable Energy announced in January of this year that it had signed an agreement with Future Wind, a Joint Venture between Pondera Development and SIF Holding Netherlands, to test the Haliade-X turbine for a period of five years.

The turbine, which will be installed onshore at the Port of Rotterdam so as to facilitate access for testing, is already making its way to Rotterdam. Earlier this month, GE Renewable Energy announced that the four tower sections had begun transit from the Port of Seville, arriving this week at the same time that the first turbine blade made its debut journey outside of the LM Wind Power blade factory in Cherbourg, France — a company now owned by GE Renewable Energy after its acquisition in April of 2017.

Image Credit: GE Renewable Energy

On Tuesday, GE Renewable Energy’s Haliade-X made further news when the company announced that the Haliade-X 12 MW nacelle and 107-meter long blade will be shipped to the UK as part of an advanced testing program that will focus on enhancing the Haliade-X platform before it enters into serial production, which is expected to begin in 2021.

Over the coming months, the nacelle and blade will be transported from GE’s production facilities in Saint-Nazaire and Cherbourg (France) to ORE Catapult’s testing facilities in Blyth in the northeast of England. Once there, the nacelle will undergo a program intended to replicate real-world operational conditions to reduce the time required to validate performance and reliability. Further, the blade will similarly undergo a full range of testing including static and fatigue tests, so as to fully demonstrate its ability to withstand peak wind conditions and to also simulate the blade’s readiness for years of operation at sea.

“We want to bring the most powerful offshore wind turbine to the world’s largest offshore wind market and contribute with our technology to support the UK’s Offshore Wind Sector Deal goal (30 GW by 2030), and UK Government’s ambition to work for greenhouse emission reduction to “net-zero” by 2050,” said John Lavelle, President & CEO of GE’s Offshore Wind business. “The extensive experience across the UK offshore wind industry provides us with the opportunity to partner with various institutions, such as ORE Catapult, that allow us to test our technology while fostering competitiveness and partner with local supply chain players that want to innovate with us and be part of the UK’s offshore wind momentum.”

“Our world-leading, larger scale test facilities, technical expertise and in-depth knowledge of the UK offshore wind sector have made us the ideal partner for GE in their development of the world’s largest and most advanced offshore wind turbine,” added ORE Catapult Chief Executive, Andrew Jamieson. “Through our collaboration we will deliver increased UK research, supply chain development, reduced cost of energy and a significant step on the path to net zero.”

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Joshua S Hill

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