A 107-m blade for GE Renewable Energy’s Haliade-X offshore wind turbine is heading across the Atlantic for testing at Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s Wind Technology Testing Center
A prototype of the Haliade-X 12 MW, the world’s most powerful wind turbine, was recently installed in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. A Haliade-X blade is also being tested in the UK at the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult’s facilities in Blyth.
Also testing the blades for the Haliade-X in the US is an obvious step for the renewable energy company, which is targeting a potentially massive market in the country. Ørsted has already selected GE Renewable Energy as its preferred turbine supplier for two of its offshore windfarms in the US, projects that are currently expected to be the first commercial deployment of GE’s Haliade-X 12MW unit.
The massive turbine, the world’s largest, has also been selected by Dogger Bank Wind Farms in the UK – which is developing what will be the world’s largest offshore windfarm when built – as its preferred turbine, and in May 2019, offshore wind developer Vattenfall and GE Renewable Energy announced plans to join forces to deploy GE’s new offshore wind turbine.
Since opening in 2011, the Wind Technology Testing Center has run 35 blade testing programmes and hundreds of individual blade tests. The facility is an ISO/IEC 17025 accredited laboratory and a Renewable Energy Testing Laboratory complying with IECRE rules and procedures.
Industry partners who have used the Center in the past include Siemens Gamesa and Vestas, and blade manufacturers such as LM Wind Power, which manufactured the Haliade-X blade at its facility in France.
Construction of the prototype of the Haliade-X to be tested in Rotterdam was completed earlier in October. An initial phase of testing the prototype is designed to allow GE Renewable Energy to obtain the data required to receive type certification for the turbine – which it expects to do in 2020.
The company did not state when the blade was due to arrive in the US or when testing would begin at the Wind Technology Testing Center. The Rotterdam prototype is due to begin testing within weeks.