The American supplier of rotor blades to the wind industry LM Wind Power, part of GE Renewable Energy, has displayed its first 107-meter blade, for GE’s Haliade-X 12 MW wind turbine, which has made its first trip outside its factory in Cherbourg, France.
The LM 107.0 P is the first ever wind turbine blade to surpass 100 meters in length, said a press release from the wind turbine blades manufacturer.
Final preparations for shipment of the blade are now underway.
GE Renewable Energy has confirmed that the Haliade-X 12 MW nacelle and 107-meter long blade will be shipped to the UK as part of an advanced technology testing program that will focus on enhancing the Haliade-X platform before it enters into serial production in 2021.
The Haliade-X 12 MW nacelle will undergo a program that will replicate real-world operational conditions to reduce the time required to validate performance and reliability. In addition, the 107-meter LM Wind Power blade will undergo a full range of advanced testing procedures (including static and fatigue) to fully demonstrate the blade's ability to withstand peak wind conditions and to simulate the blade's readiness for years of operation at sea.
John Lavelle, President & CEO of GE's Offshore Wind business, said, "We want to bring the most powerful offshore wind turbine to the world's largest offshore wind market and contribute with our technology to support the UK's Offshore Wind Sector Deal goal (30 GW by 2030), and UK Government's ambition to work for greenhouse emission reduction to "net-zero" by 2050. The extensive experience across the UK offshore wind industry provides us with the opportunity to partner with various institutions, such as ORE Catapult, that allow us to test our technology while fostering competitiveness and partner with local supply chain players that want to innovate with us and be part of the UK's offshore wind momentum."
ORE Catapult Chief Executive, Andrew Jamieson, said, "Our world-leading, larger scale test facilities, technical expertise and in-depth knowledge of the UK offshore wind sector have made us the ideal partner for GE in their development of the world's largest and most advanced offshore wind turbine. Through our collaboration we will deliver increased UK research, supply chain development, reduced cost of energy and a significant step on the path to net zero."
The Haliade-X 12 MW is designed to be a multi-million investment that will help reduce offshore wind’s cost of energy in order to make it a more competitive source of clean and renewable energy. According to GE, one Haliade-X 12 MW turbine can generate up to 67 GWh of gross annual energy production.
Hybrid carbon design and manufacturing, enabled LM Wind Power to create the world’s longest and most advanced blade, the LM 88.4 P, and now this technology is used during serial production of another record-setting onshore blade, for a 142 meter rotor.
GE Renewable Energy is investing close to £15 million in testing and Research & Development activities on Haliade-X mostly in the UK. In addition to the nacelle and blade testing program, GE Renewable Energy and ORE Catapult are also developing a program aiming 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.