General Electric Co. is betting that its next-gen offshore wind turbine—a giant at 12 MW, 260 meters high and with 107-m blades—will make offshore wind power more competitive and position the firm to win a fair share of the burgeoning energy market. “We are on schedule to install the biggest and most powerful wind turbine in the world,” says Vincent Schellings, chief technology officer for GE’s renewable energy offshore wind unit.
GE hopes to grab a large share of what is seen as an offshore wind market between eight and 20 or more gigawatts in the U.S. by 2030. “We are optimistic about the potential … in the U.S.,” a GE spokesman says. It also is pursuing a “significant market” in the U.K., which could reach 30 GW by 2030, and in China, which could have 100-GW potential by then. A 6-MW Haliade demonstration project installed in China last year now is being tested, says the spokesman.
GE has partnered with Future Energy, a venture of renewables consultant Pondera Development and Dutch manufacturer SIF Holdings, to install a prototype of the huge Haliade-X turbine onshore at the Port of Rotterdam, Netherlands. SIF manufactured its steel foundation components. The deal includes five years of testing and 15 years of O&M. Turbine platform construction, now underway, will contain 50 piles that will be covered by a 28-m foundation plate. The tower, nacelle and blades will be installed in summer, Schellings said. GE expects to certify the unit in 2020 and commercially deploy it in 2021. The Dutch prototype is part of a $400-million GE investment in the Haliade-X technology announced in March 2018. German giant Siemens intends to install a 10-MW offshore wind turbine prototype this summer and commercially deploy the unit in 2022.