GE Renewable Energy has unveiled the world’s largest offshore wind turbine, the 12 megawatt Haliade-X which measures in at 260 meters in height and boasting a 220-meter rotor, and is capable of generating enough clean electricity for 16,000 households per turbine.
The mammoth turbine was announced on Thursday by GE Renewable Energy in France, and it represents an impressive glimpse into the future of offshore wind turbines, only a week or so after European wind energy trade body WindEurope highlighted the need for ever bigger and powerful turbines. The Haliade-X 12 MW will produce 45% more energy than any other offshore wind turbine currently available and will be capable of generating up to 67 gigawatt-hours (GWh) annually, enough renewable power for up to 16,000 European households.
And that’s per individual turbine.
The Haliade-X 12 MW will likely first appear in demonstration form in 2019 and begin shipping to wind farms as early as 2021. Boasting a height of 260 meters, which is five times the size of Paris’ iconic Arc de Triomphe, the turbine will come with 107-meter-long blades — the longest blades to date at a length greater than that of a soccer or football field.
The bigger wind turbines get, the more economical we can build offshore wind farms and the greater the size of those projects. Economies of scale works wonders for renewable energy development, and as was highlighted by WindEurope’s Giles Parkinson late last month, we need bigger turbines if we are to meet the necessary renewable energy targets to halt global warming in its tracks.
“The renewables industry took more than 20 years to install the first 17 GW of offshore wind,” said Jérôme Pécresse, President and CEO of GE Renewable Energy. “Today, the industry forecasts that it will install more than 90 GW 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 Haliade-X 12 MW 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,” added John Lavelle, CEO of Offshore Wind at GE Renewable Energy.