The world’s largest wind turbine blade has arrived in the UK for testing at the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult facility in Northumberland.
The more than 350 foot (107m) blade, made by LM Wind Power, is designed to operate from GE Renewable Energy’s Haliade-X 12 megawatt (MW) turbine, also the biggest to date.
ORE Catapult, who will test the blade at its test facility in Blyth, will assess its ability to withstand peak wind conditions and simulating its readiness for years of operation at sea.
Andrew Jamieson, chief executive of the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, said: “This 107m blade, which is larger than the total wingspan of an A380 aircraft, represents a huge milestone for our industry and will be part of the innovative Haliade-X 12 MW next-generation offshore wind turbine.
“Testing these world-leading technologies here in the UK cements our position as a global leader in offshore wind and presents unparalleled opportunities for the UK supply chain to develop new products and services, creating jobs and generating economic benefit.”
ORE said an additional three blades will also be shipped to a prototype site in Rotterdam, in The Netherlands.
It added that shipping and testing the first components of the Haliade-X 12 MW keeps GE Renewable Energy on track to commercialise the technology in 2021.
Hanif Mashal, LM Wind Power vice president of engineering, added: “LM Wind Power has broken the size record once again with this 107-meter blade.
“We are proud to begin its global validation program in the UK, where we have a long-term strategic partnership with ORE Catapult to test new products, including our previous record-breaking blade at 88.4 meters in length.
“Through LM Wind Power’s advanced technology development hub in Southampton, we look to continue our presence and cooperation with UK-based technology and R&D entities.”