GE Introduces Largest Offshore Turbine
GE Renewable Energy, a Paris-based division of General Electric, last week unveiled its Haliade-X, a 12-megawatt turbine for offshore wind facilities that boasts an industry-leading generator rating and capacity factor and will stand 260 meters (853 feet) tall.
Haliade-X, available for order now for delivery in 2021, will feature a 220-meter rotor and will reportedly be able to churn out 67 gigawatt-hours of power each year. GE says that capacity is about 45 percent greater than the most powerful turbines available, and is double the most recent Haliade model. Each turbine will have the capacity to power 5,000 American households, the company says.
According to NBC News, GE notes that maintenance per turbine is generally similar regardless of size, meaning that arrays of fewer, but larger, turbines offshore will pay off by generating more power with less maintenance.
The first nacelle for the Haliade-X project will reportedly be finished in 2019. The company will invest about $400 million into development and construction over the next five years, primarily in Saint-Nazaire and Cherbourg, in western France.
The world’s current tallest wind turbine, an onshore model built last year in Germany, stands at 808.7 feet, and has the capacity to produce 10.5 gigawatt-hours annually.
Most of the world’s offshore wind farms are in and around the North Sea, near the U.K. and northern Europe. Some arrays have been built in Southeast Asia in recent years, and several U.S. states are working to incentivize their construction off the U.S. coast. An array is in the works for Lake Erie off the coast of Cleveland as well.