GE to build $400 million Haliade-X – The world’s biggest wind turbine

General Electric (NYSE:GE) has revealed it will invest over US$400 million during the next three to five years developing the world’s biggest offshore wind turbine.

The Haliade-X turbine will have a capacity of 12MW, producing enough power to supply the energy needs of 16,000 households. The structure will stand at 260 metres tall while the length of the blades will span 107 metres.

GE Renewable Energy will develop and manufacture the new turbine largely in France and aims to have its first nacelle (power generating unit) ready for demonstration in 2019, before shipping the first turbines in 2021.

The nacelles for the Haliade-X are set to be constructed at the Saint-Nazaire factory in Western France, with the firm investing nearly $60 million over the next five years on modernising the plant. A new $100 million blade manufacturing plant will also be opened by GE later this year in Cherbourg.

Jérôme Pécresse, president and CEO of GE Renewable Energy said: “The Haliade-X shows GE’s commitment to the offshore wind segment and will set a new benchmark for cost of electricity, thus driving more offshore growth.

The world’s largest current turbine was launched in June 2017 by MHI Vestas, an offshore turbine with a capacity of 9.5MW.