World’s biggest offshore wind turbine heading to the UK for testing

GE Renewable Energy has confirmed that the Haliade-X 12 MW nacelle and 107-metre long blade will be shipped to the UK as part of an advanced technology testing programme that will focus on enhancing the Haliade-X platform before it enters into serial production in 2021.  
World’s biggest offshore wind turbine heading to the UK for testing
Courtesy of GE

The Haliade-X nacelle, comparable to six London Double-Deckers piled-up, along with the world’s longest 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 North East of England in the months to come. It will then undergo a programme that will replicate real-world operational conditions to reduce the time required to validate performance and reliability. In addition, the 107-meter LM Wind Power blade will undergo a full range of advanced testing procedures (including static and fatigue) to fully demonstrate the blade’s ability to withstand peak wind conditions and to 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.”

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

GE Renewable Energy is investing close to £15 million in testing and Research & Development activities on Haliade-X mostly in the UK. In addition to the nacelle and blade testing programme, GE Renewable Energy and ORE Catapult are also developing the ‘Stay Ashore!’ programme, which aims to reduce the time people spend at sea, increasing safety and contributing to energy cost reduction by focusing on developing technology in robotics, digital and remote operations.

As members of the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC), GE Renewable Energy actively supports the recently announced Offshore Wind Growth Partnership (OWPG) initiative, that aims to increase UK local content and support the growth of UK businesses looking to capitalise on the opportunities offered by the expansion of offshore wind around the world.

The Haliade-X 12 MW is a multi-million investment and will contribute to reducing the cost of offshore wind energy in order to make it a more competitive source of clean and renewable energy. One Haliade-X 12 MW turbine can generate up to 67 GWh of gross annual energy production, provide enough clean energy to power 16,000 European households and save up to 42 million metric tons of CO2, which is the equivalent of the emissions generated by 9,000 vehicles in one year.

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ORE Catapult

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