The second 12MW Haliade-X nacelle off the assembly line at GE Renewable Energy’s Saint-Nazaire, France, factory has arrived at the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult’s testing facility in Blyth, UK, ahead of an extensive testing programme designed to fast-track the technology to market.
The nacelle, arrival of which comes in the wake of switch-on of the OEM’s prototype, in the Dutch Port of Rottedam, joins one of the record-setting turbine’s 107-metre blades, which has been rigged up at Catapult since last year.
“GE’s Haliade-X technology will have an important role to play in helping the UK to achieve its offshore wind ‘Sector Deal’ goals of 30GW by 2030 and the UK government’s ambition to work for greenhouse emission reduction to ‘net-zero’ by 2050,” said John Lavelle, CEO of GE’s offshore wind business.
“Our Haliade-X global testing programme will allow us to put different components under controlled and extreme conditions in a faster way, to adapt our technology in a shortened time while introducing new features to meet customers’ demands, and reduce the validation time before starting serial production in 2021.”
ORE Catapult CEO Andrew Jamieson stated: “Our objective is to subject the turbine nacelle to an extremely rigorous testing programme designed to make sure it can withstand years of operation at sea.
“Testing these world-leading technologies in the UK presents unparalleled opportunities for the UK supply chain to develop new products and services, creating jobs and generating economic benefit.”
A second Haliade-X test blade, recently arrived at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center testing facility in Boston for trials.
The turbine, which flies an LM Wind Power-designed 220-metre-diameter rotor powering a direct-drive transmission with permanent-magnet generator, is the largest offshore machine ever built, outreaching the 10MW models of OEMs MHI Vestas and Siemens Gamesa, though both rivals have larger-nameplate designs in development.
GE is investing close to £15m ($20m) in testing and R&D work on the Haliade-X in the UK, including a programme dubbed ‘Stay Ashore!’ that aims to reduce the time personnel spend at sea by focusing on technology development in robotics, digital and remote operations.
The Haliade-X, the launch of which in March 2018 was reported exclusively in Recharge , is engineered to generate up to 67GWh of gross annual energy production, enough to supply power to over 16,000 European households and save up to 42,000 metric tonnes of CO2.
GE is racing to get the Haliade-X into serial manufacture, with orders for the Equinor-SEE 3.6GW Dogger Bank mega-project off the UK and Orsted’s Skipjack and Ocean Wind developments in the US in line for first deliveries between 2022-2025.GE is racing to get the Haliade-X into serial manufacture, with orders for the Equinor-SEE 3.6GW Dogger Bank mega-project off the UK and Orsted’s Skipjack and Ocean Wind developments in the US in line for first deliveries between 2022-2025.