World’s Biggest Offshore Wind Turbine, Blade Ready for Testing

One Haliade-X 12MW turbine can generate up to 76 gigawatt-hours of gross annual energy production and save up to 42 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.
Haliade-X 12MW. Image courtesy of GE Renewable Energy

Technology is one of the main pillars of renewable energy’s evolution and it is about to take another big step. GE Renewable Energy has confirmed that the world’s biggest offshore wind turbine is ready to enter the testing stage before it moves to serial production in 2021.

The Haliade-X 12-megawatt nacelle and the 352-foot blade designed by LM Wind Power will be shipped to the U.K. as part of an advanced technology testing program. The components will be transported from GE’s production facilities in Saint-Nazaire and Cherbourg, France, to ORE Catapult’s testing facilities in Blyth, in the northeast of England.

How big is the biggest?

LM Wind Power Blade. Image courtesy of GE Renewable Energy

The total height of the Haliade-X is 853 feet, triple the height of the Flatiron Building. The diameter of the rotor is 722 feet, equivalent to the Golden Gate Bridge’s tower height above water. The surface of the blade sweep is 410,000 square feet, as big as seven football fields.

One such turbine can generate up to 76 gigawatt-hours of gross annual energy production, which represents 45 percent more energy production than most powerful machines on the market today. One turbine can save up to 42 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of emissions generated by 9,000 vehicles in one year, per EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator.

GE Renewable Energy is investing more than $19 million in testing and R&D activities on Haliade-X, mostly in the U.K. In addition, the company collaborates with ORE Catapult on the “Stay Ashore!” program, which aims to reduce the time people spend at sea, increasing safety and contributing to energy cost reduction by focusing on developing technology in robotics, digital and remote operations.