The first GE offshore wind turbine nacelle to be tested in the UK under a recent research & development agreement has been delivered to the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult’s 15 MW drive train test facility in Blyth, Northumberland.
The Haliade 150-6MW nacelle, containing the direct drive offshore wind turbine’s permanent magnet generator, will undergo advanced test and demonstration programmes that accurately replicate real-world operational conditions to further enhance performance and reliability.
The nacelle was shipped from GE Renewable Energy’s factory in Saint-Nazaire, France, on board the vessel Happy Sky. Following the approximately 12 months test programme on the unit, GE’s next generation Haliade-X 12 MW nacelle will be also delivered to Blyth for accelerated indoor testing and validation, while a full prototype unit will be installed at a yet-to-be determined site in 2019.
John Lavelle, vice-president & CEO of GE’s Offshore Wind business, said “We decided to take our Haliade 150-6MW to ORE Catapult’s site to be tested under rough and extreme conditions in a short period of time, that will allow us to collect data to be used on our recently announced Haliade-X 12 MW offshore wind turbine. We will utilise the data and learnings to enhance availability and power output, while introducing new features to meet customers’ demands.” The arrival of the Haliade 150-6MW nacelle marks the beginning of GE’s offshore wind research and development activities in the UK, in close collaboration with ORE Catapult.
Since December 2016 the Haliade 150-6MW has been powering America’s first offshore wind farm in Block Island (Rhode Island), while 66 units are currently being installed at Merkur’s offshore wind farm in Germany.