GE Renewable Energy is that area of General Electric which is becoming a worldwide leader in onshore and offshore wind, hydro and innovative technologies such as concentrated solar power. The company has installed more than 400 GW of renewable power plants all over the world. On the 1st March GE announced its plan to develop the largest, most powerful offshore wind turbine of ever. Its name is Haliade-X with a rated power output of 12 MW.
John Flannery, 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.”.
Let’s look at the size of Haliade-X. Haliade-X is composed by a 220-meter diameter rotor and 3 107-meter-long blades designed by LM Wind Power. With a height of 260 meter over the sea, it’s just 60 meter shorter than Eiffel Tower. The huge size of the turbine are meant to produce more power and increase the inertia of the rotor, which becomes less sensitive to wind speed variations. Haliade-X will produce almost 45% more energy than any other turbine with a AEP (Annual Energy Production) of 67 GWh (based on wind conditions on a typical North Sea site). Just one Haliade-X 12 MW turbine would supply 16000 households and 1 million households in a 750 MW wind farm. Moreover, Haliade-X has a capacity factor of 63% (which tells how much energy was really generated against the maximum produced at full power operation during the same period of time), 7 points more then other turbines.
An investment for the future
The investment over the next three to five years for the development of the Haliade-X is more than $400 million. The rated output of 12 MW of Haliade-X provides significant savings: fewer machines per wind farm (for the same amount of power), lower times for installation, service and repairs. That could lead to a huge spread of offshore wind farms and also to lowering the levelized cost of energy (LCOE). GE Renewable Energy aims to supply its first demonstration turbine in 2019 and the first unit in 2021.