GE to trial mammoth Haliade-X wind turbine in the UK

The UK government-funded Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult facility and GE Renewable Energy signed a five-year deal to test the 350-foot turbines in Blyth, Northumberland.

“This is an important agreement because it will enable us to prove Haliade-X in a faster way by putting it under controlled and extreme conditions,” said John Lavelle, president and CEO of GE’s Offshore Wind business.

UK energy minister Claire Perry also welcomed the agreement, referring to the country’s world-class research and testing facilities.

The UK is a world leader in the offshore wind sector and its capacity could yet grow by five times the size of current levels to 30GW by 2030, according to a recent report by several industry participants.

Waters off the coast of Aberdeen in Scotland are home to the current largest wind turbines in operation, MHI Vestas’ 9MW turbines installed at a Vattenfall wind farm.

Also part of the agreement is a US$8.5 million combined investment from Innovate UK and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to install the world’s largest and most powerful grid emulation system at the Blyth centre.