GE lands first orders for new mega wind turbine

GE has found the first commercial buyer for its new Haliade-X mega wind turbines of 12 MW. Ørsted will deploy the units on two offshore wind farms in the United States.

The Haliade-X currently is the most powerful wind turbine on the market, although the first commercial units have yet to leave the factory. GE recently shipped a prototype to from its production facility in Saint-Nazaire to Sif’s terminal in Rotterdam, where it will be installed and tested to obtain all the necessary approvals. CEO John Lavelle of GE Renewable Energy Offshore Wind expects to receive the type certificate in 2020 and said the company “will be ready to send out the first commercial units by mid-2021.”

The Danish energy giant will develop two new offshore wind farms in the United States: The 120 MW Skipjack offshore wind farm off the coast of Maryland and the 1,100 MW Ocean Wind project near New Jersey. Construction of Skipjack is expected to commence in 2022, while the development of Ocean Wind is planned for 2024.

US offshore wind

The US offshore wind market is starting to gain momentum now seven states on the east coast have committed to building a total of 20GW of offshore wind capacity by 2035. There are, however, still some hurdles that need to be cleared. The construction of the first commercial wind farm, Vineyard Wind, has been delayed because a Massachusetts municipality denied the developers a key permit needed to run a transmission cable along the ocean floor. Additionally, a federal environmental assessment for the 800-megawatt project will also take longer than initially anticipated.

Despite these hiccups, Ørsted US portfolio is growing rapidly. The company already built a small 30 MW offshore wind farm called Block Island Wind Farm, which started production in December 2016, and has been awarded contracts for another six projects in the states of Maryland, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New York, and Connecticut. Together these projects have a total capacity of 2.9GW.

Author: Tobias Pieffers

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