GE Renewable Energy is looking to build a turbine plant in the UK to supply the Dogger Bank offshore wind farm that will use its Haliade-X machines, it was reported on Friday.
The Paris-based arm of the US industrial giant is looking at three locations, two in northeast England and one in Scotland, according to the Financial Times. Teesside in England is said to be the favourite.
The manufacturer said in a statement sent to Recharge: “While GE Renewable Energy is excited about the UK offshore wind market and committed to maximising opportunities for UK-based manufacturers, we have made no specific announcements at this point.”
GE’s 13MW Haliade-X turbines will be used at Dogger Bank, the world’s largest offshore wind farm that Equinor and SSE are building off eastern England.
The Haliade, the world’s most powerful wind turbine, is currently only assembled in northwest France.
Any announcement of GE turbine plant would be a shot in the arm for the offshore wind industrial ambitions of the government of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who wants the sector to make Britain the “Saudi Arabia of wind power” and aims to quadruple operating capacity to 40GW by 2030.
Johnson this week unveiled plans for a “Green Industrial Revolution” that aims to create 250,000 jobs. The GE plant would create at least 3,000, according to the FT.
Levels of local content for the UK’s world-leading offshore wind build-out have been a contentious issue for years, and the industry is aiming for a 60% share of domestic content under a ‘sector deal’ reached with the government in 2019.
Unions have complained that developers are sending too many contracts for major components abroad.
Among the offshore wind OEMs, Siemens Gamesa has a major turbine facility in Hull, northeast England, while MHI Vestas operates a blade plant on the Isle of Wight in southern England.
Recharge revealed in October how Global Energy Group hopes to build in the Scottish Highlands the UK’s largest plant fabricating towers and foundations for UK offshore wind.