GE Renewable Energy, a subsidiary of General Electric based in Paris, revealed on 22 July the first manufactured components of the Haliade-X 12 MW offshore wind turbine at its production site in Saint-Nazaire, France.

The first nacelle revealed on 22 July will be shipped from Saint-Nazaire to Rotterdam-Maasvlakte in the Netherlands over the coming weeks, where its components will be assembled into the Haliade-X 12 MW prototype to be tested there, GE said in a press release, adding that the prototype will be installed on land to simplify access for testing. This initial phase is designed to allow GE Renewable Energy to obtain the data required to receive its type certification—a key component prior to commercializing the product in 2021.

In parallel, a second Haliade-X 12 MW nacelle is currently being assembled at Saint-Nazaire, prior to dispatch to the ORE Catapult test centre at Blyth, in the United Kingdom, in the coming months, GE said, adding that the nacelle will be testing in actual operational conditions to reduce the time required to confirm its performance levels and reliability.

“Today’s presentation of the first ever Haliade-X 12 MW nacelle at Saint-Nazaire is the start of a key new phase in our ongoing commitment to structuring the offshore wind turbine segment,” GE Renewable Energy CEO Jérôme Pécresse said. “This project clearly reflects our ability to invest and innovate, supporting our customers on an ultra-competitive market in exponential growth. Thanks to the Haliade-X 12 MW, we are proud to prepare for the future of the offshore wind industry from Saint-Nazaire, a benchmark production site for offshore wind international projects,” he added.

The Saint-Nazaire production site is dedicated to manufacturing offshore wind turbine generators and nacelles and has already assembled over 80 Haliade 150-6MW wind turbines since opening in December 2014. Significant projects include the development of turbines for Block Island, the first ever offshore wind farm in the US, the Xinghua Gulf project in China, and the Merkur offshore wind farm in Germany.

According to GE, the Haliade-X 12 MW’s market-leading nacelle and 107-metre long blades will allow GE Renewable Energy customers to generate more power more effectively, in an environment in which they face increased competition. The turbine can generate 67 GWh in gross annual energy, providing enough clean energy to power 16,000* European households and save up to 42 million metric tons of CO2, which is the equivalent of the emissions generated by 9,000 vehicles in one year alone.

According to GE Renewable Energy Offshore Wind CEO John Lavelle his company is on track to start commercialising this new product very shortly. “Once we have received the type certificate (2020), we will be ready to start mass production and send out the first commercial units by mid-2021. Haliade-X 12MW is an outstanding and strategic project for GE. We aim to meet the requirements of our customers by providing a more affordable and competitive energy source,” he said.