Wind turbine manufacturer Siemens Gamesa has announced the long-awaited launch of its much anticipated “1X” offshore wind turbine, revealed to be a 14MW behemoth with a 222-metre rotor diameter.
The Spanish company – the result of a merger between Gamesa and Siemens’ Wind Power business in 2017 – on Tuesday unveiled plans for its SG 14-222 DD offshore wind turbine, boasting a nameplate capacity of 14MW and which can reach 15MW with the company’s patented Power Boost function.
The turbine measures in with a rotor diameter of 222-metres, 108-metre long blades, and a mammoth 39,000 m2 swept area. With a 25% increase in Annual Energy Production against its 11MW predecessor, each new 14MW monster turbine will generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 18,000 average European households every year.
Approximately 30 of the turbines could cover the annual electricity consumption of a city like Bilbao, Spain, and each machine will avoid approximately 1.4 million tonnes of CO2 emissions as against coal-fired power generation.
“We’ve gone bigger for the better,” said Markus Tacke, CEO of Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy. “Safely and sustainably providing clean energy for our customers and society-at-large is at the core of all we do. The new SG 14-222 DD is a global product which allows all of us take giant steps towards protecting and preserving our planet.
“We ourselves became carbon neutral in late 2019 and are on track towards meeting our long-term ambition of net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050. Our installed fleet of over 100 GW both offshore and onshore abates more than 260 million tons of CO2 emissions annually,” Tacke said.
“Offshore is in our DNA,” added Andreas Nauen, CEO of the Siemens Gamesa Offshore Business Unit. “Since we helped create the offshore wind industry in 1991, we’ve been determined to safely increase operational performance, minimize technology risks, and create a consistently lower Levelized Cost of Energy.
“The SG 14-222 DD demonstrates our drive to lead the way in a world powered by clean energy. In fact, just one unit will avoid approx. 1.4 million tons of CO2 emissions compared to coal-fired power generation over the course of its projected 25-year lifetime.”
The SG 14-222 DD will utilise the company’s new B108 blades which are as long as almost three Space Shuttles placed end-to-end and which is cast in one piece using the company’s patented blade technologies.
This will add its own complications when it comes to transport and manoeuvrability, but will deliver mammoth wind generation figures, creating a 39,000 m2 swept area, equivalent to approximately 5.5 standard football pitches.
The turbine’s nacelle will weigh in at only 500 metric tonnes which will enable the company to utilise an optimised tower and foundation substructure, lowering costs per turbine by minimising sourced materials and reducing transportation needs.
The battle for “world’s largest offshore wind turbine” has always been and will continue to be a dynamic feature of the world’s leading wind turbine manufacturers.
The current installed “world’s largest” turbine record is held by MHI Vestas – the joint venture company between Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Danish wind turbine giant Vestas Wind Systems.
That 9.5MW turbine is currently being supplied to several offshore wind farms around the world, including at floating projects in France and Scotland, and has already been installed at the 219MW Northwester 2 project in Belgium – the first project in the world to use the 9.5MW turbine.
MHI Vestas was also the company to launch the world’s first commercial double-digit offshore wind turbine, unveiling its 10MW turbine in September of 2018 and which will be ready for installation in 2021.
However, this was quickly joined by Siemens Gamesa in January 2019 with its own 10MW turbine, which was later expanded to deliver a 11MW turbine later that year and which was quickly announced to be the turbine of choice for Swedish energy company Vattenfall’s Hollandse Kust Zuid offshore wind project.
All of this was overshadowed, however, all the way back in March of 2018 when GE Renewable Energy announced its plans to bring to market its 12MW Haliade-X offshore wind turbine. Since then, the company has unveiled stunning images of components for the Haliade-X and delivered a prototype to the Port of Maasvlakte-Rotterdam in the Netherlands for testing, which has already begun generating power.