Another step forward in the wind turbine arms race
GE Renewable Energy has unveiled plans to develop the most powerful offshore wind turbine to be called the Haliade-X, delivering 45% more energy than any other offshore turbine currently available.
Featuring a 12MW direct drive generator and an industry leading gross capacity factor of 63%, GE plans to invest more than $400 million over the next three to five years in the 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 metres over the sea, the Haliade-X 12 MW will be fitted with a 220 metre rotor. This rotor will be designed and manufactured by Denmark based LM Wind Power, which is a subsidiary of GE and the 107 metre long blades will be the longest offshore blades manufactured to date. One Haliade-X 12MW turbine will generate up to 67GWh annually, providing enough clean power for up to 16,000 households per turbine, and up to 1 million households in a 750MW wind farm 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 wind 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.
To design and build the Haliade-X platform, GE Renewable Energy is relying on the experience gained from having over 50,000 turbines currently operating. GE Renewable Energy aims to supply its first nacelle for demonstration in 2019 and ship the first units in 2021.
By Dag Pike
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