United States

United States

GE confirms appeal of US injunction in SGRE Haliade-X patent dispute

General Electric (GE) has confirmed to Windpower Monthly that it will appeal the injunction imposed by a Boston judge last month on selling, importing and installing the company’s flagship Haliade-X offshore wind turbine in the US.

GE said it disagreed with the findings of the September ruling (pic credits: Getty and GE)
GE said it disagreed with the findings of the September ruling (pic credits: Getty and GE)

The US company – one of the world’s largest turbine manufacturers - also revealed that it will design around the technology in the disputed turbine, which a jury found in June infringes a patent owned by its rival, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE).

GE’s appeal to September's ruling had been anticipated.

"We disagree with the liability finding and the broad injunction and are confident in our grounds to appeal,” a GE Renewable Energy spokesman said.

The company did not say when it would file an appeal, which can take up to 18 months to complete.

‘Design-around’

“We will be providing a technical design-around that will enable us to bring the benefits of the Haliade-X to the US," the spokesman added. 

Commenting on the development in the patent dispute, Shashi Barla, head of analysis and intelligence for renewables at Brinckmann, said: "I estimate that the modified version of Haliade-X may be available within six months, however, the next product iteration of the Haliade-X may be around 12-18 months."

He added: "I estimate it might cost around USD 30-50 million but I don’t think GE will be in a position to pass on these development costs to the customers, so I do not expect that it will change the selling price."

In his earlier ruling, federal Judge William Young, allowed GE to sell the Haliade-X to two offshore wind farms, in so-called carve-outs to the injunction.

For the 800MW Vineyard Wind 1, under construction off Massachusetts, GE must pay SGRE an unprecedented royalty of $30,000 per installed megawatt, while for the 1100MW Ocean Wind 1 project off New Jersey, the court has yet to determine the royalty to be paid.

First power is expected from Vineyard I, developed by Avangrid and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, in 2023 with full commissioning in 2024. Ocean Wind 1 is developed by Ørsted and the US utility PSEG and is due online in 2025.

The Haliade-X was found to infringe US patent no 9,279,413 — the ‘413 — for an offshore direct-drive turbine’s structural support mechanism, and the physical and structural arrangement of the main shaft bearings.

This allows the turbine to be larger and handle increased loads and thus produce more energy, according to SGRE’s amended complaint, filed with the court in July 2021.

GE will be hit hard by the injunction, say experts. The company has a ‘backlog’ of just over 2GW of near-term offshore projects in the US.

Earlier this week, SGRE said it would shed nearly 3,000 jobs globally over the next few years as part of a turnaround plan.

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