GE plans to ship their behemoth Haliade-X wind turbine in 2021. It will be the biggest, most powerful wind turbine ever. How big? It’s 853 ft. tall. The blades are 351 ft., longer than a football field. Blade diameter is 722 ft. Output is an astonishing 12 MW. That’s enough to power upwards of 16,000 European households and, conservatively, 7,5000 US homes. That’s from each turbine, not from an entire wind farm.
Further, the Haliade-X has highly advanced electronics that sense changing wind conditions and adjust the blades as needed. Plus, it can generate power in low wind, which is hugely important. Thus, it will be able to produce power when other turbines can’t.
Offshore wind has major advantages over onshore. There are few NIMBYs. The turbines can be bigger and are simpler to build. A 351 ft. blade can be put on a ship much easier than trucking it to the outback.
The ability to produce more power from a single turbine means a smaller number of turbines in the total farm, which translates to less capital expenditure for the balance of plant and reduced risk in project execution as the installation cycle time is reduced. It also simplifies operation and maintenance of the wind farm. All of this reduces the investment and operation cost for developers, makes offshore wind projects more profitable, and ultimately lowers cost of electricity for consumers.