Dongfang Electric (DEC) today took the wraps off China’s first 10MW turbine and sector leader Goldwind unveiled its own long-awaited 8MW model on a landmark day for Chinese offshore wind.

The launches, which took place on Wednesday just a short distance apart at an industrial park in Fujian province, underlined the growing competition for turbine deals in China’s fast-growing offshore sector, and the determination of local groups to offer an alternative to the supersized machines of western OEMs.

Pictures of the launch ceremony for the first DEC 10MW prototype turbine at developer CTG’s offshore wind industrial hub in Fujian went viral on the Chinese internet, although neither has yet released an official statement marking the event.

The turbine will boast a 185-metre rotor diameter, “suitable for offshore projects with 8.5-10 metres/second wind speeds,” product materials released previously by DEC said.

The launch of the prototype came just a month after DEC unveiled a 10MW permanent-magnet synchronous generator (PMSG) for the machine.

The manufacturer, based in Sichuan, also announced plans for a factory in the offshore wind industrial hub with annual production capacity up to “100 units”.

CTG plans to install the prototype machine at its Xinghua Bay project, a renowned testing ground for China’s large-scale offshore wind turbines. Full commercialisation “may still need some one to two years” depending on the result of the outcome of the first deployment, a manager at DEC told Recharge previously.

DEC hopes the 10MW machine will give it a fighting chance in the Chinese offshore wind sector, where it built no new capacity last year. The firm only won its first “large-scale” offshore order in May 2018, to supply 12 typhoon-proof 5MW turbines to CTG’s Xinghua Bay Phase 2.

However, it plans to launch both a 7MW and a 10MW prototype by the year-end, according to company filings.

At the same industrial park, China’s largest wind OEM overall and number-three offshore player Goldwind today finally released its 8MW offshore prototype, a year after the new product design first showcased at the 2018 China Wind Power event. The prototype launch was scheduled initially for June but delayed for a few months.

Chinese offshore wind leader Shanghai Electric has already delivered an 8MW prototype based on Siemens Gamesa technology a month ago. CSIC Haizhuang is also in hot pursuit with its own 10MW plans.

All the Chinese players face a challenge from powerful international OEMs. This year GE Renewable Energy inked a significant footstep in China to build a Haliade-X factory in Guangdong province, able to produce its record-breaking 12MW turbine.

China installed 1.8GW last year – the most in the world in 2018 – to reach a cumulative offshore wind capacity of 4.4GW. That could grow to as much as 30GW by 2030, according to some analysts.

The sector is also on a government-mandated path to phase out subsidies, putting pressure on developers to squeeze more power out of their projects using larger, more advanced turbines.

  • Recharge will hold its next Thought Leaders Summit looking at the next steps for Chinese offshore wind in Beijing on 23 October. Full details are here