Plans for world's 'largest and most powerful' offshore wind turbine unveiled

  • The Haliade-X offshore wind turbine will stand 260 meters tall.
  • It will have a capacity of 12 megawatts and 107-meter-long blades.
GE Renewable Energy

GE Renewable Energy has laid out plans to develop what it says will be the world's largest and most powerful offshore wind turbine, the Haliade-X.

The scale of the turbine is considerable. It will stand 260 meters tall and have a capacity of 12 megawatts (MW) as well as 107-meter-long blades. GE is to spend more than $400 million on the turbine's development and deployment over the next three to five years.

"We want to lead in the technologies that are driving the global energy transition," John Flannery, the GE chairman and CEO, said in a statement Thursday. "Offshore wind is one of those technologies and we will bring the full resources of GE to make the Haliade-X program successful for our customers."

GE said that, based on wind conditions at a "typical" site in the German North Sea, one turbine could produce as much as 67 gigawatt hours (GWh) annually, enough power for as many as 16,000 European households.

"The Haliade-X shows GE's commitment to the offshore wind segment and will set a new benchmark for cost of electricity, thus driving more offshore growth," Jerome Pecresse, GE Renewable Energy's president and CEO, said.

Europe's total offshore wind capacity increased by 25 percent in 2017, according to WindEurope. Just over 3.1 GW of new offshore wind was installed in Europe last year, with total capacity hitting almost 15.8 GW, the trade body said.

Europe is now home to more than 4,000 offshore wind turbines across 11 countries. Thirteen new offshore wind farms were completed in 2017, with the U.K. and Germany accounting for the majority of these. The U.K. installed 1.7 GW of offshore wind, while Germany was responsible for 1.3 GW.