GE Renewable Energy to ship first offshore wind turbine housings to the US

Posted on 13 Jul 2016 by Tim Brown

The GE Renewable Energy offshore wind turbine plant in Saint-Nazaire, France, will soon complete the manufacture of its first commercial series of Haliade Offshore wind turbine nacelles (housings).

The five, 370-ton offshore wind turbine nacelles, are scheduled to begin their voyage to the US in the coming days. They will equip the Block Island Wind Farm, which is the first of its kind in the US.

The Block Island project is situated off the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island on the East Coast of the United States. The Haliade turbines, ordered by Deepwater Wind, will be installed starting in August. With a total capacity of 30 MW, the Block Island Wind Farm will produce 125,000 MWh of electricity per year, enough to supply electric power to 17,000 households. It will be connected to the grid by the end of 2016.

“We’re proud that America’s first offshore wind farm will feature, in GE’s Haliade turbine, some of the world’s most innovative offshore wind technology,” said Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski.

The Haliade offshore wind turbine

The industrial site at Saint-Nazaire, inaugurated in December 2014, was designed to produce up to 100 turbines per year.

The Saint-Nazaire plant will also be the assembly site for 66 wind turbines intended for the Merkur wind farm in Germany, followed by the 238 turbines slated to equip the three French wind farms in Saint-Nazaire, Courseulles-sur-Mer and Fécamp, installed by EDF Energies Nouvelles.

“This marks a milestone for the company and we are proud to contribute to the Block Island project, the first offshore wind farm in the United States,” said Anders Soe-Jensen, CEO of GE Renewable Energy’s Offshore Wind unit. “This demonstrates our readiness to respond to expanding international demand. We are well positioned to become a major player in offshore wind energy, and to lead in the energy transition across the world,”

The Haliade turbine was specifically designed for a marine environment. Thanks to its 150-metre blades, its output is 15% higher than the offshore turbines of the same generation. Producing 6 MW of power, it is capable of supplying the equivalent of 5,000 households per year, with annual CO2 savings of more than 21,000 tonnes.

At a total height of 170 metres, the Haliade is almost twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty. Its blade, which measures 150 metres in diameter, is comparable to twice the wingspan of an airbus A380. Its outsized blades cover a surface area of 17,860 m2, three times the area of a football field.

Check out the Block Island Wind Farm 2015 review video here.