GE Renewable Energy is reported to be considering a turbine manufacturing facility in the UK for its Haliade-X offshore wind turbine
The Financial Times reported on 20 November 2020 that GE Renewable Energy is considering potential sites at which to manufacture turbines for the UK market.
Responding to questions from OWJ, the company – which has been selected to provide the 13-MW Haliade-X offshore wind turbine for the first two phases of the Dogger Bank offshore windfarms in the North Sea – said, “While GE Renewable Energy is excited about the UK offshore wind market and committed to maximising opportunities for UK-based manufacturers, we have made no specific announcements at this point.”
The Financial Times report said the company is considering a trio of potential sites for a factory to build the Haliade-X.
Although the largest market for offshore wind in the world, the UK does not have a turbine manufacturing facility, although turbine blades are manufactured there.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently confirmed his administration’s commitment to 40 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030. Were GE to build a factory in the UK it would be a major coup for the Prime Minister and would create very significant employment opportunities.
Dogger Bank Wind Farm and GE Renewable Energy signed a contract on 22 September 2020 for the 13-MW Haliade-X for the Dogger Bank A and Dogger Bank B phases of the massive British project.
The award, which is subject to Dogger Bank A and B reaching financial close – which is expected shortly – covers the supply of 190 Haliade-X 13-MW turbines, split evenly at 95 turbines for each of the first two phases of the project.
The Haliade-X 13MW is an enhanced version of the successful 12-MW prototype unit which has been generating power in Rotterdam since November 2019 and recently secured its provisional type certificate from DNV GL.
As part of the agreement with SSE, GE Renewable Energy will establish its marshalling harbour activities at Able Seaton Port in Hartlepool which will serve as the base for turbine service equipment, installation and commissioning activities for Dogger Bank A and B.
This will see the delivery of components for the 13-MW wind turbines to the port, including the nacelle, three tower sections and three 107-m long blades, for pre-assembly onsite at Able Seaton prior to transport out to the North Sea for installation. This activity will lead to 120 skilled jobs at the port during construction. Turbine installation is expected to commence in 2023 at Dogger Bank A.
Dogger Bank Wind Farm is a joint venture between SSE Renewables, who are leading the construction of the windfarm, and Equinor, who will operate the 3.6-GW project during its lifetime of at least 25 years.
The project is located over 130 km off England’s northeast coast. Due to its size and scale, the project is being built in three consecutive phases – Dogger Bank A, Dogger Bank B and Dogger Bank C. Each project is expected to generate around 6 TWh of electricity annually.