Orsted set to use a massive turbine to power two of its offshore wind farms in the US

Key Points
  • Orsted's use of the turbines will represent the first commercial deployment of the Haliade-X 12 MW.
  • The U.S. offshore wind industry is relatively young: its first offshore facility only commenced commercial operations in 2016.
The wind turbine blade is 107 meters long.

Danish firm Orsted has chosen GE Renewable Energy as its preferred turbine supplier for two offshore wind farms in the U.S. The agreement means that Orsted is set to use GE Renewable Energy's huge Haliade-X 12 MW wind turbines at the projects.

Orsted's use of the turbines will represent the first commercial deployment of the Haliade-X 12 MW. The deployment is subject a final agreed and signed contract and project approvals.

The two wind farms the turbines will be used at are the 120 MW Skipjack facility off the Maryland coast and the 1,100 MW Ocean Wind project off the coast of New Jersey. It's expected that the facilities will be commissioned in 2022 and 2024 respectively.

The U.S. offshore wind industry is relatively young. Its first offshore facility, the 30 MW Block Island Wind Farm, only commenced commercial operations in 2016. The Block Island Wind Farm is located off the coast of Rhode Island and operated by Orsted.

The scale of the Haliade-X 12 MW turbine is considerable. It will have a capacity of 12 megawatts (MW), a height of 260 meters and a blade length of 107 meters. GE Renewable Energy has repeatedly described it as "the world's largest offshore wind turbine." In August a wind turbine blade from LM Wind Power, designed to be used on the Haliade-X 12 MW, arrived in the U.K. for testing.

"Offshore wind is a high-growth segment for our company, and like Orsted, we are enthusiastic about the potential of offshore wind, both in the U.S. and globally," Jerome Pecresse, the president and CEO of GE Renewable Energy, said in a statement Thursday.

As technology develops, the size of wind turbines is increasing. In September 2018, MHI Vestas Offshore Wind launched the first commercially available double-digit turbine, the V164-10.0 MW. The turbine has 80-meter long blades which weigh 35 tons each, and a tip height of around 187 meters.