Ørsted, the world-leading offshore wind developer, has selected GE Renewable Energy as the preferred turbine supplier for two of its US offshore wind farms which marks the world’s first commercial deployment of GE’s Haliade-X 12MW offshore wind turbine.
Subject to final agreed and signed contract and all required project approvals, Ørsted will deploy Haliade-X 12MW wind turbines on the two offshore wind farms constituting Ørsted’s Mid-Atlantic cluster:
- Skipjack (120MW) off the coast of Maryland. Expected commissioning: 2022.
- Ocean Wind (1,100MW) off the coast of New Jersey. Expected commissioning: 2024.
In the US alone, seven states on the east coast have committed to building a total of 20GW of offshore wind capacity by 2035, emphasising the need for a broad and diverse supplier base.
“We look forward to introducing the next generation offshore wind turbine to the market. For decades, Ørsted has pioneered the introduction of new technology and new suppliers which has been fundamental to drive down the cost of electricity, and today offshore wind is a competitive source of homegrown clean energy that can help countries and states achieve their climate targets while creating long-lasting economic activity. We are delighted to see GE’s long-term commitment to offshore wind and to partner with them on our Mid-Atlantic cluster,” Martin Neubert, Executive Vice President and CEO of Ørsted Offshore, says.
“We are truly excited to be selected preferred supplier with the most powerful offshore wind turbine on the market by the global market leader. Offshore wind is a high-growth segment for our company, and like Ørsted, we are enthusiastic about the potential of offshore wind, both in the US and globally. As this announcement demonstrates, our significant investment in technology innovation, which leverages all appropriate resources within GE, positions us to help our customers lower the cost of energy produced by clean, abundant, reliable offshore wind. We thank Ørsted for their trust and commitment,” Jerome Pecresse, President & CEO of GE Renewable Energy, states.
Following the 30MW Block Island Wind Farm – America’s first offshore wind farm which was commissioned in 2016 and pioneered the 6MW Haliade turbine – Skipjack and Ocean Wind will be Ørsted’s second and third offshore wind farms to deploy turbines from GE Renewable Energy.
In the US, Ørsted has been awarded the rights to build offshore wind farms to serve the markets of Maryland, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New York, and Connecticut. These wind farms will have a total capacity of approx. 2.9GW and will be commissioned by 2024.
Back in time
In 1991, the renewable energy company Ørsted built the world’s first offshore wind farm, Vindeby, near the coast of Denmark, comprising 11 turbines that generated a total 5 megawatts. That farm looks like a field of daisies by today’s standards — but its creation opened an industry that’s grown in leaps and bounds, with total installed capacity topping 22.5 gigawatts in 2018, more than the total generating capacity of Greece, Portugal or Chile. Ørsted says it will hit 7.45 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2020. To generate all that, the turbines themselves have had to grow from tender saplings to towering oaks like the Haliade-X 12MW, the world’s most powerful offshore wind turbine.
Whereas the turbines at Vindeby each could generate 450 kilowatts, just a single Haliade-X has the capacity to churn out, as the name suggests, 12MW. The turbines have also grown up: The first wind farm’s rotors measured just 35 meters in diameter. The Haliade-X’s rotor stretches 220 meters, more than twice the length of a soccer pitch. And at 107 meters each, the turbine’s blades are so long that maker LM Wind Power, a division of GE Renewable Energy, built a massive new factory on the Atlantic coast in Cherbourg, France, to ease transportation in moving them from the plant to a cargo ship.
The Ocean Wind — the larger of the two planned farms, off the coast of New Jersey — is expected to generate 1,100MW, the equivalent of an average American nuclear reactor. Skipjack, off of Maryland, can produce 120MW. “We look forward to introducing the next-generation offshore wind turbine to the market,” said Martin Neubert, executive vice president and CEO of Ørsted Offshore. “Today, offshore wind is a competitive source of homegrown clean energy that can help countries and states achieve their climate targets while creating long-lasting economic activity.”
GE makes the nacelles — which are as large as a townhouse — at another French factory in the port city of Saint-Nazaire. The company is currently testing the blades and the nacelle in Blyth, England. It is also building a full-scale test Haliade-X turbine in Rotterdam, Holland. “We are truly excited to be selected as a preferred supplier with the most powerful offshore wind turbine on the market by the global market leader,” said Jérôme Pécresse, president and CEO of GE Renewable Energy. “Like Ørsted, we are enthusiastic about the potential of offshore wind, both in the US and globally. As this announcement demonstrates, our significant investment in technology innovation positions us to help our customers lower the cost of energy produced by clean, abundant, reliable offshore wind just as the industry prepares for dramatic growth.”
GE wind turbines also power America’s first offshore wind farm, the 30 MW Block Island Wind Farm off the coast of Rhode Island, which runs on Haliade 150-6MW units. There might be more work on the horizon. In the US, seven states on the East Coast have committed to building a total of 20 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2035.