Communications agency Tamarindo reports that Chinese firms have overtaken western competitors in the push to develop the world’s largest offshore wind turbines.

On 13 January, Mingyang Smart Energy unveiled its MySE 18.X-28X offshore turbine platform, which has a headline capacity of 18 MW and gives Mingyang the potential to go ‘beyond 18MW’. MingYang says the unit is ‘as tall as a 70-storey skyscraper’ and would be capable of surviving extreme offshore conditions, including level-17 typhoons.

This news came a week after fellow Chinese company CSSC Haizhuang announced its own 18 MW turbine, the H260-18MW, at an event at Dongying City Offshore Wind Power Industrial Park in Shangdong Province.

This also means that Mingyang and CSSC Haizhuang have overtaken Dongfang Electric and Goldwind, which announced their own 16 MW turbine platforms last July and November respectively. Goldwind developed its super-sized machine with China Three Gorges, and Three Gorges chairman Lei Mingshan said it showed that China is now leading the global offshore turbine race rather than following western rivals, companies such as Vestas, Siemens Gamesa and GE Renewable Energy which have turbines with headline capacities of 15 MW, 14 MW and 14 MW respectively.

But these new entries in the market reflect a few facts that western manufacturers cannot afford to ignore: Chinese wind turbine makers are operating with larger profit margins than their western competitors, they can invest more in the R&D for bigger and better machines, and they can learn from the huge amount of offshore wind capacity that is being installed in China. 12.7 GW was installed in 2021 and a further 6.8 GW in the first six months of 2022, giving Chinese manufacturers a huge project pipeline that they know they can dominate.

Image courtesy of CSSC