This week, GE Renewable Energy announced its $400 million plan to develop and deploy the Haliade-X, the largest and most powerful offshore wind turbine to date, over the next three to five years. The turbine will feature a 12 megawatt (MW) direct drive generator that can provide a gross capacity factor of 63% (capacity factor compares how much energy is generated against the maximum that could be produced at continuous full power operation during a specific period of time.)
The Haliade-X will stand over 850 feet high and will have blades 350 feet long, about the length of a football field. One 12 MW wind turbine will generate up to 67 gigawatt hours (GWh) per year, enough power for 5,000 households per year.
Jérôme Pécresse, President and CEO of GE Renewable Energy said, “The renewables industry took more than 20 years to install the first 17 GW of offshore wind. 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.”
More power provided by in individual turbine will allow for less turbines to provide the power, and thus less investment and operation costs, making offshore wind projects more profitable, and ultimately lowers cost of electricity for consumers.
Producing 63% generating capacity, the Haliade-X 12MW is 5 to 7 points above the current industry benchmark. This increase in energy per MW of installed turbine power will provide an increase in returns for customers. Collaborating with LM Power Wind on the blades and various GE entities, GE Renewable Energy plans to provide the first cover housing unit for demonstration in 2019 and ship the first units in 2021.