When it comes to wind power, the British Isles have stolen the spotlight completely. The UK has more offshore wind power than the rest of the world combined and Scotland itself leads the world in the amount of electricity demand it meets with wind power.
The UK will soon be home to the world's largest offshore wind project, a massive 1.8 GW installation destined for the waters off the Yorkshire coast and now it will also be home to the most powerful wind turbine.
GE is building it's 12-MW Haliade-X turbine at the UK's Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult research center and will be developing and testing the technology there for the next five years. The Haliade-X will be capable of producing 45 percent more electricity than any currently available wind turbine. Just one of these turbines will be able to generate 67 GWh of electricity a year, which is equivalent to the energy needs of 16,000 European homes.The giant turbine will be 853 feet tall with a 722-foot motor and 351-foot blades. Consolidating all of that power into a huge turbine doesn't just mean wind farms that produce greater energy in a smaller space, but also wind farms that require less maintenance due to fewer turbines to inspect and repair and shorter and cheaper installation. All of that could amount to more profitability for investors and cheaper wind power consumers.
All of the components of the turbine will be tested and refined at the research center and even a large grid emulation system will be built to assess power delivery and grid stability when using the giant turbine.
GE says that the first Haliade-X will be built and ready in 2021. You can learn more and see simulations of the turbine in action below.