China Three Gorges begins work on offshore wind farm with world’s largest turbines

The first 16MW turbine rolls of the production line at the Fujian Three Gorges Offshore Wind Power International Industrial Park (Huang Keyao/CTG)
China Three Gorges Corporation (CTG) has begun work on the first offshore wind scheme to employ 16MW turbines.

The company is installing the units on the second phase of its Zhangpu Liuao project in the southern part of Fujian Province, which is opposite Taiwan. When complete, the $885m scheme will have an output of up to 400MW, equivalent to around 500,000 tonnes of coal.

The 16MW wind turbines, manufactured by CGT and Goldwind Technology, has a hub-height of 146m – roughly equal to a 50-storey building – and a rotor diameter of 252m. According to CTG, it has the largest output, the largest diameter and the lightest weight per megawatt of any turbine yet built. One unit can produce more than 66GWh of electricity per year.

Zhai Endi, chief engineer at Goldwind Technology, commented: “The 16MW unit has made important technological breakthroughs in the research and manufacturing of core components such as large main shaft bearings and ultra-long lightweight blades.

“The digital level of unit operation status monitoring is high, and it can intelligently adjust the operation mode for severe weather such as typhoons to ensure the safety and efficient power generation of wind turbines.”

However, this turbine may be overtaken in the next few years.

Last month, Mingyang Smart Energy announced plans to build a 18MW turbine with a rotor diameter of 280m, which would be able to supply power to around 100,000 people (see further reading).

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