GE's Haliade-X offshore wind prototype is operating at 14 MW in The Netherlands after several years of fine-tuning a turbine the company originally hoped would reach 12 MW, according to a Tuesday announcement.
The original 12 MW goal, set in November of 2019, represented "a big leap forward in the industry," according to a statement from GE CTO Vincent Schellings. After two years of optimization, Schellings said, the Haliade-X prototype is now the first to achieve 12, 13 and now 14 MW.
Increasing the scale of generation from individual turbines will decrease costs and accelerate offshore wind development, according to John Hensley, vice president of research and analytics for the American Clean Power Association.
GE's Haliade-X turbine has done more than exceed the company's expectations, Schellings said Tuesday. It's increasing the accessibility of renewable energy.
The prototype turbine, designed in 2019 to set a new industry standard by running 12 MW, has demonstrated a capacity to reach 14 MW with optimized operations, according to GE. This means each Haliade-X turbine could produce up to 74 GWh of electricity per year — enough to offset the emissions of 11,000 vehicles, according to the company.
The Haliade-X is already set to debut at the Dogger Bank C offshore wind farm, where 87 Haliade-X turbines will be installed 130 km off the northeast coast of England. The Haliade-X is also slated for use by Vineyard Wind off the coast of Massachusetts.
"Bigger and more efficient offshore wind turbines are key to lower the cost of electricity on an industry scale," Schellings told Utility Dive. "When selecting a bigger turbine for their projects, developers and wind farm operators are able to reach the desired output capacity of their wind farm with fewer machines, which means fewer installs and fewer machines to service during their lifetime."
Hensley called Tuesday's developments an "exciting announcement for a growing industry," noting that growing economies of scale would make offshore wind overall a more attractive generation option.
"These lowered costs results in a more competitive and cost-effective generation source," Hensley said, "which in turn should ultimately result in more offshore wind generation."
GE has begun the process of certifying the measurements on the Haliade-X 14 MW. The turbine received certification at 13 MW in January 2021 from DNV GL, and while it's impossible to predict the course of innovation, Schellings said GE believes "wind turbines will continue to become more powerful in the years to come."