GE Renewable Energy has announced plans to build the Haliade-X, the biggest, most powerful offshore wind turbine that the world has ever seen. Standing at 853 ft., the turbine will be 300 feet taller than the Washington Monument.
The turbine will have a 12 MW direct-drive generator, and be able to produce 45% more energy than turbines currently on the market. The plan will take a significant investment from GE, which will plug more than 400 million dollars into the turbine's development over the next three to five years.
The colossal turbine's rotors will be designed and manufactured by LM Wind Power out of Denmark. The carbon hybrid blades will be 107-meters long, or 351 feet which is only nine feet shorter than a football field.
Each one of these machines will generate enough energy to power up to 5,000 U.S. homes. The hope is to create wind farms that will power up to 300,000 homes. It's actually enough power to cover 1 million European households, just a side note on average U.S. energy consumption.
The diameter of the rotor is 722 ft. and the blade sweep will cover a surface of 410,000 sq feet — sticking with the football comparison, that’s the equivalent to the area of seven football fields.
The industry is interested for a number of reasons, namely the fact that more powerful turbines mean wind farms with fewer machines. It's cheaper from a capital expense point of view, and it reduces risk in the installation process. It will also translate to less maintenance and simplify operations. According to GE, the design should make offshore wind projects more profitable and lower the cost of electricity.
The company hopes to ship the first Haliade-X as soon as 2021.