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World’s Largest Offshore Wind Turbine to Be Developed in the U.K.

Largest offshore wind turbine in the world to be developed in the U.K., according to a report published on April 25, 2018.

This largest offshore wind turbine, known as the Haliade-X will be built by GE Renewable Energy. As per the announcement made by the company, the mammoth rig will be tested and developed in the next five years at the UK’s Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult research center.

This wind turbine has a 12-megawatt direct drive generator and can produce 45 percent more energy than any other offshore wind turbine that is currently available. It is expected to generate up to 67 GWh (Gigawatt hours) annually, which is enough to power up to 16,000 European households. The wind turbine will be 260 meters tall and will have a 220-meter rotor incorporated with three 107 meter blades. Also, the turbine will have gross capacity factor of 63 percent.

The company provides answer for why opt for one giant wind turbine instead of a large number of smaller ones. Less number of turbines leads to less capital expenditure for a wind farm, a shorter installation time, and simplified maintenance and operation of the farm. These factors together is expected to make offshore wind farming more profitable and would reflect in lower electricity costs for consumers.

Cooling technologies, converters, and loading conditions across mechanical and electrical components were to be assessed by the engineers. Moreover, they will conduct grid testing and design validation. John Lavelle, president and CEO of GE’s Offshore Wind business, said, “Traditional testing methods rely on local wind conditions and therefore have limited repeatability for testing. By using ORE Catapult’s facilities and expertise, we will be in a better position to adapt our technology in a shortened time, reduce unplanned maintenance, increase availability and power output, while introducing new features to meet customers’ demands.” The wind turbine is expected to function by 2021.