The odds on GE Renewable Energy’s big — and arguably make or break — bet on the fast-approaching merchant offshore wind market, the Haliade-X turbine, improved sharply last month as Vattenfall announced that it planned to use the 12MW machine on its upcoming projects off Europe, the first developer to formally back the giant next-generation model.

Though the utility stopped short of naming the US OEM as the preferred supplier for any projects, the statement is no less welcome for GE’s $400m project to turn the world’s largest ‘on-screen’ wind turbine into an offshore reality.