The world’s longest offshore wind turbine blade has arrived at the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult’s testing facilities in Blyth in the UK
The 107-m LM Wind Power blade will be put through its paces at ORE Catapult’s blade-test facility over the coming months. It was designed for GE Renewable Energy’s Haliade-X 12-MW turbine, which is also the largest to date.
The blade will undergo a full range of advanced testing procedures, demonstrating its ability to withstand peak wind conditions and simulating its readiness for years of operation at sea. Three other 107-m blades will soon be shipped to a prototype site in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
Shipping and testing the first components of the Haliade-X 12 MW keeps GE Renewable Energy on track to commercialise the technology in 2021.
Producing the LM 107.0 P blade represents a milestone for the entire wind industry, as the first wind turbine blade to surpass 100 m in length.
LM Wind Power vice president of engineering Hanif Mashal said, “We have a long-term strategic partnership with ORE Catapult to test new products, including our previous record-breaking blade at 88.4 m in length.”
ORE Catapult chief executive Andrew Jamieson said, “We are delighted to have taken delivery of the world’s longest blade at our Blyth test facility, where we will put it through an extremely rigorous testing programme designed to make sure it can withstand years of operation at sea.
“This 107-m blade is a huge milestone for our industry. 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.”
The blade for the Haliade-X 12 MW and the turbine’s nacelle will both be tested at the ORE Catapult. GE Renewable Energy is investing close to £15M (US$18M) in testing and research and development activities for the Haliade-X.
GE Renewable Energy claims that one Haliade-X 12 MW turbine can generate up to 67 GWh of gross annual energy production, provide enough clean energy to power 16,000 European households and save up to 42M tonnes of CO2, which is the equivalent of the emissions generated by 9,000 vehicles in one year.