- Ørsted will supply its New Jersey and Maryland offshore wind farms with GE Renewable Energy's new turbine, bringing 1,220 MW online in the next five years, according to an announcement on Thursday.
- GE says its Haliade-X 12 MW turbine is the most powerful offshore wind turbine on the market, double the capacity of the turbines used in the only operational offshore wind farm in the U.S., the 30 MW Block Island project off Rhode Island. That increased efficiency is intended to cut costs on the overall project.
- The units will also be larger, with each blade stretching out beyond the length of a standard football field, and increased turbine sizing will require additional manufacturing infrastructure needs. Ørsted, which has developed several offshore wind farms globally, committed this summer to invest $13.2 million in an offshore wind manufacturing service area in Baltimore, to facilitate assembly, storage and loading the heavy equipment into deep waters.
Offshore wind is a high-growth sector for GE Renewables, in the U.S. and globally. The Haliade-X technology has already been included in a slew of international bids for more than 10 GW of potential offshore wind projects, according to GE.
The New Jersey project, expected to be operational in 2024 is the second largest single offshore wind project announced in the U.S. at 1,100 MW. The 120 MW Maryland offshore wind project is expected to be in commission by 2022.
Other East Coast states and utilities are ramping up their offshore wind plans, too.
On Thursday, Dominion Energy announced the development of a 2,600 MW offshore wind project in Virginia. The project was proposed in three 880 MW phases set to be operational in 2024, 2025 and 2026, using more than 220 turbines.
Ørsted is working on mid-Atlantic offshore wind development by also focusing on the infrastructure necessary for projects, such as the Baltimore offshore wind port. The area will be able to safely transport components that weigh as much as 2,000 tons, the company previously said.
Other states are also prioritizing offshore wind port infrastructure, such as Massachusetts, as turbine size is expected to increase.
The Haliade-X is 50% more efficient than the 8 MW turbine introduced by GE in 2016, "which demonstrates how quickly turbine technology is evolving," Liz Burdock, CEO and president of the Business Network for Offshore Wind, said in a statement.
Ørsted's use of the technology will "drive the [offshore wind] market toward using larger turbines all over the world, and larger turbines mean lower electricity costs for taxpayers and ratepayers," she said.
The 12-MW Haliade-X "features a 63% capacity factor — five to seven points above industry standard," a GE Renewable Energy spokesperson told Utility Dive. "Each incremental point in capacity factor represents around $7 million in revenue for our customers over the life of a wind farm."