World’s biggest offshore wind turbine heads to Netherlands for testing

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Parts of GE’s massive 12MW Haliade-X offshore wind turbine, including a nacelle and a 107-metre-long blade, have been shipped for testing in Rotterdam.

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GE Renewable Energy’s massive 12MW Haliade-X offshore wind turbine is leaving the design table to begin testing, with parts already arriving in the Netherlands and a separate announcement revealing it will also head to the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult’s site in Blyth in the UK.

Announced in March of 2018, GE Renewable Energy’s 12 MW Haliade-X offshore wind turbine will be the world’s largest wind turbine when it becomes available in 2021. Measuring in at a height of 260 meters and boasting a 220-meter rotor and 107-metre-long blades, the Haliade-X will be capable of generating enough clean electricity for 16,000 households all on its own.

Before it enters serial production, expected sometime in 2021, the Halide-X must first successfully proceed through several rounds of testing and obtain its Type Certificate.

The first of these testing sites is run by Future Wind, a Joint Venture between Pondera Development and SIF Holding Netherlands.

GE Renewable Energy announced an agreement with Future Wind in January of this year to ship a prototype turbine to Maasvlakte-Rotterdam in the Netherlands during the Northern Hemisphere’s 2019 Summer.

The prototype will be installed onshore at the Port of Rotterdam to facilitate ease of access for testing and will allow GE Renewable Energy to collect the necessary data to obtain its Type Certificate.

“As we rapidly progress on assembling the Haliade-X prototype, this announcement is a critical step forward for GE and our customers,” said John Lavelle, VP & CEO of Offshore Wind at GE Renewable Energy in January.

“The port of Rotterdam has been a real partner and provides all the necessary conditions to test the Haliade-X in the most drastic weather conditions.”

Already the turbine tower has been shipped and arrived at the Port of Rotterdam, while a nacelle and 107-metre-long blade produced by LM Wind Power, a GE-owned blade manufacturer which it acquired in April of 2017, made its first foray outside earlier this week.

Announced this week, GE Renewable Energy revealed that it had signed a separate agreement with the United Kingdom’s Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult which will see a Haliade-X nacelle and blade shipped to the Catapult’s site in Blyth where they will both undergo testing to replicate real-world conditions.

“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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