GE Renewable Energy has signed an agreement with Future Wind to install the first Haliade-X 12 MW wind turbine prototype in Maasvlakte-Rotterdam, the Netherlands, this summer.
While it has been designed for offshore environments, GE Renewable Energy said Wednesday that the prototype would be installed onshore in order to "facilitate access for testing." The deal also includes five years of testing as well as a 15-year full service operation and maintenance agreement.
The initial phase of operations will enable the business to collect data required to get a Type Certificate, which it described as a "key step in commercializing the product in 2021."
Details of the Haliade-X 12 MW turbine were announced in 2018. 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. At the time, GE Renewable Energy said it would be the world's largest and most powerful offshore turbine.
"As we rapidly progress on assembling the Haliade-X prototype, this announcement is a critical step forward for GE and our customers," John Lavelle, VP and CEO of Offshore Wind at GE Renewable Energy, said Wednesday. "The port of Rotterdam has been a real partner and provides all the necessary conditions to test the Haliade-X in the most drastic weather conditions."
GE is investing $400 million in the development of the Haliade-X turbine. Future Wind is a joint venture between SIF Holding Netherlands and Pondera Development.
Europe is a major player when it comes to offshore wind. In September 2018, the world's largest operational offshore wind farm, located in the Irish Sea, officially opened. The Walney Extension Offshore Wind Farm has a total capacity of 659 megawatts and is capable of powering nearly 600,000 homes in the U.K, according to Danish energy business Orsted.