GE's 12MW Haliade-X produces first power

GE Renewable Energy has generated first power from its 12MW Haliade-X prototype -- the world's largest and most powerful wind turbine.

Having produced its first kWh of power at Rotterdam-Maasvlakte port in the Netherlands, it will now undergo further tests as the manufacturer aims to obtain a Type Certificate for the turbine in 2020.

John Lavelle, CEO of offshore wind at GE Renewable Energy, and one of Windpower Monthly's wind power champions for 2020, said: "There are more than 500 GE women and men behind this great success, who have been working for a year and a half to make this possible."

GE first announced its 12MW Haliade-X in March 2018.

With a 220-metre rotor, 260-metre tip height and 12MW nameplate capacity, it is the world’s biggest, most powerful offshore wind turbine.

A second prototype is being installed at GE’s facility in Saint-Nazaire, France, and will be shipped to ORE Catapult’s test facilities in the UK. There, it will undergo a test programme to recreate real-world operational conditions.

A 107-metre blade has also been shipped to ORE Catapult’s site for advanced static- and fatigue-testing to demonstrate its ability to withstand peak wind conditions and operate for years at sea.

GE has sent a second blade, manufactured by GE subsidiary LM Wind Power, for fatigue testing at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Centre in Boston, US.

The turbine has been named as the preferred model for the 3.6GW Dogger Bank wind farms off the UK, and Ørsted's 1.1GW Ocean Wind and 120MW Skipjack sites in US waters.

Its creator aims to begin serial production in the second half of 2021 ahead of project commissioning in 2022.