GE Renewable Energy has confirmed that the Haliade-X 12-MW nacelle and 107-meter-long blade will be shipped to the UK as part of an advanced technology testing program that will focus on enhancing the Haliade-X platform before it enters into serial production in 2021.
The turbine’s nacelle will undergo a program that will replicate real-world operational conditions to reduce the time required to validate performance and reliability.
Additionally, the LM Wind Power turbine 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.
GE Renewable Energy is investing close to £15 million in testing and R&D activities on Haliade-X. The turbine’s 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 coming months.
“Our world-leading, larger scale test facilities, technical expertise and in-depth knowledge of the UK offshore wind sector have made us the ideal partner for GE in their development of the world’s largest and most advanced offshore wind turbine,” said ORE Catapult Chief Executive, Andrew Jamieson. “Through our collaboration we will deliver increased UK research, supply chain development, reduced cost of energy and a significant step on the path to net zero”.
In addition to the nacelle and blade testing program, GE Renewable Energy and ORE Catapult are also developing the “Stay Ashore!” program, 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 capitalize on the opportunities offered by the expansion of offshore wind around the world.