World's biggest offshore wind turbine heading to the UK for testing

Jun 25, 2019
  • GE's Haliade-X 12 MW nacelle and 107-meter long blade will be shipped to the UK as part of an advanced technology testing program
  • Both components will be tested at the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult's site in Blyth
  • GE is investing close to £15 million in R&D and testing activities for Haliade-X

London, June 25th 2019 – GE Renewable Energy has confirmed that the Haliade-X 12 MW nacelle and 107-metre 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 Haliade-X nacelle comparable to six Double-Decker London buses, 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 months to come.

The Haliade-X 12 MW nacelle will undergo a program that will replicate real-world operational conditions to reduce the time required to validate performance and reliability. In addition, the 107-meter LM Wind Power 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.

John Lavelle, President & CEO of GE's Offshore Wind business, said: "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. The extensive experience across the UK offshore wind industry provides us with the opportunity to partner with various institutions, such as ORE Catapult, that allow us to test our technology while fostering competitiveness and partner with local supply chain players that want to innovate with us and be part of the UK's offshore wind momentum."

ORE Catapult Chief Executive, Andrew Jamieson, said "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. 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".

GE Renewable Energy is investing close to £15 million in testing and Research & Development activities on Haliade-X mostly in the UK. 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.

The Haliade-X 12 MW is a multi-million investment and will contribute to reducing the cost of offshore wind energy in order to make it a more competitive source of clean and renewable energy. One Haliade-X 12 MW turbine can generate up to 67 GWh* of gross annual energy production, provide enough clean energy to power 16,000* European households and save up to 42 million metric tons of CO2, which is the equivalent of the emissions generated by 9,000 vehicles** in one year.

* Based on wind conditions on a typical German North Sea site.
** According to EPA Greenhouse gas equivalencies calculator

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About GE Renewable Energy
GE Renewable Energy is a $15 billion business which combines one of the broadest portfolios in the renewable energy industry to provide end-to-end solutions for our customers demanding reliable and affordable green power. Combining onshore and offshore wind, blades, hydro, storage, utility-scale solar, and grid solutions as well as hybrid renewables and digital services offerings, GE Renewable Energy has installed more than 400+ gigawatts of clean renewable energy and equipped more than 90 percent of utilities worldwide with its grid solutions. With nearly 40,000 employees present in more than 80 countries, GE Renewable Energy creates value for customers seeking to power the world with affordable, reliable and sustainable green electrons. Follow us at www.ge.com/renewableenergy, on www.linkedin.com/company/gerenewableenergy, or on www.twitter.com/GErenewables

For further information:
Santiago Chacon, Offshore Wind Communications Leader
santiago.chacon@ge.com
+33 (0) 7 79 46 93 46

About ORE Catapult
ORE Catapult was established in 2013 by the UK Government and is part of a network of Catapults set up by Innovate UK in high growth industries. It is the UK's leading innovation centre for offshore renewable energy and helps to reduce the cost of offshore renewable energy, supporting the growth of the industry and creating UK benefit.
Follow us @ORECatapult and ore.catapult.org.uk

For further information:
Charles Thompson, Marketing & Communications Director, ORE Catapult
charles.thompson@ore.catapult.org.uk
+44 (0)7715 484706