GE has announced plans to build a prototype of the world’s largest wind turbine on the outskirts of Rotterdam.
The Haliade-X turbine has a rotor that measures 220m in diameter, twice the length of a football field, and stretches 260m from base to blade tips, nearly three times the height of the Statue of Liberty.
Each turbine will be able to generate 12MW, enough to supply 16,000 European homes, and 2.5MW more than MHI Vestas’ V164-9, which generates 9.5MW from a site in the Irish Sea.
GE engineers calculate that just one of the machines located in the North Sea will be able produce 67GWh a year, which it says is 45% more than the most powerful turbine on the market today.
The size of the turbine allows engineers to capture more of the wind’s energy. The Haliade-X has a "capacity factor" of 63% – meaning that it is able to capture of 63% of the energy it would have produced if the wind had been blowing all year. GE says this is between five and seven percentage points more than the competition.
Vincent Schellings, who leads the development team, commented: "Basically, every point of capacity factor is worth $7m per 100MW for our customers. That’s a nice upside."
Although the Haliade-X is intended as an offshore turbine, GE Renewable Energy and its partner Future Wind will build the prototype on land to make it accessible over its five-year testing period.
A factory has been built in Cherbourg, Normandy, to create the 107m turbine blades, and work on the prototype will begin this summer with a view to gaining regulatory approval in 2021.
The prototype is part of a $400m investment in the development of the Haliade-X that GE Renewable Energy announced in March 2018.
Image: GE’s spec sheet for the Haliade-X (GE Renewable Energy)