GE launches world’s most powerful offshore wind turbine

Haliade-X turbine will generate 12MW with a 63 per cent capacity factor, and stands 260m tall.

With a 220m-diameter turbine, the Haliade-X turbine will stand 260m above sea level

The new wind turbine, whose launch was announced yesterday in Paris, will produce 45 per cent more energy than the current largest turbine available. Each unit is claimed to have the ability to produce 67GWhr of energy per year, sufficient to power up to 16,000 typical European households. Its large size will enable offshore wind farm operators to reach their power goals using fewer wind turbines, thereby reducing capital expenditure, risk in project execution and simplifying maintenance and operation.

wind turbine

The Haliade-X is a truly enormous beast, towering 260m above sea level. In keeping with the location of the launch, GE stated that it is five times the height of the Arc de Triomphe; British readers may not realise that the Arc de Triomphe is roughly the same height as Nelson’s Column. More comparisons with well-known buildings can be seen in the infographic above.

Each blade of the turbine is 107m long, making a total rotor diameter of 220m. The blades were designed, and will be manufactured, by LM Wind Power, a Danish blade specialist acquired by GE in 2016, which manufactures in Europe, North and South America and Asia.

wind turbine

Jérôme Pécresse, president and CEO of GE Renewable Energy said: "The renewables industry took more than 20 years to install the first 17GW of offshore wind. Today, the industry forecasts that it will install more than 90GW 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 capacity factor of the turbine is a significant development. Indicating how much energy is generated compared with the maximum that could be generated at continuous full power operation, it indicates what fraction of the nameplate capacity can be expected during average wind conditions. At 63 per cent, the Haliade X is five to seven points ahead of the current industry benchmark. Therefore, GE says, it will produce more energy per megawatt installed, “which will significantly increase returns for customers.”

John Lavelle, CEO of Offshore Wind at GE Renewable Energy said: "The Haliade-X 12MW will help our customers in an increasingly competitive offshore environment, and through its size and digital functionality provide important value across manufacturing, installation and operation."

GE is to invest $400m in developing and deploying the Haliade-X over the next three to five years, and anticipates that the first deployment could be in 2021.