World’s largest wind turbine to be put through UK ‘readiness’ testing

The world's first 107m turbine blade. Pic courtesy of LM Wind Power.
The world's first 107m turbine blade. Pic courtesy of LM Wind Power.

The world’s biggest wind turbine is to undergo UK testing before it enters production in 2021.

GE Renewable Energy’s Haliade-X 12 megawatt (MW) nacelle is due to be transported from its production facilities in Saint-Nazaire and Cherbourg in France to ORE Catapult’s testing facilities in Blyth in the North East of England.

The Haliade-X turbine blade will undergo a program that will replicate real-world operational conditions to reduce the time required to validate performance and reliability.

The LM Wind Power blade will also undergo advanced testing  to fully demonstrate the blade’s ability to withstand peak wind conditions and to simulate the blade’s readiness for years of operation at sea.

GE Renewable Energy has confirmed it is investing £15 million the Haliade-X testing.

John Lavelle, president and chief executive of GE’s offshore wind business, said: “We want to bring the most powerful offshore wind turbine to the world’s largest offshore wind market and contribute with our technology to support the UK’s Offshore Wind Sector Deal goal (30 GW by 2030), and UK Government’s ambition to work for greenhouse emission reduction to “net-zero” by 2050.

“The extensive experience across the UK offshore wind industry provides us with the opportunity to partner with various institutions, such as ORE Catapult, that allow us to test our technology while fostering competitiveness and partner with local supply chain players that want to innovate with us and be part of the UK’s offshore wind momentum.”

ORE Catapult chief executive, Andrew Jamieson, added: “Our world-leading, larger scale test facilities, technical expertise and in-depth knowledge of the UK offshore wind sector have made us the ideal partner for GE in their development of the world’s largest and most advanced offshore wind turbine.

“Through our collaboration we will deliver increased UK research, supply chain development, reduced cost of energy and a significant step on the path to net zero”.