The world’s longest offshore wind turbine blade has arrived at the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult’s testing facilities in Blyth, Northumberland.
The 107 metre LM Wind Power blade will be put through its paces at ORE Catapult’s world-leading 100m blade-test facility over the coming months and is designed to operate from GE Renewable Energy’s Haliade-X 12 MW turbine, which is also the biggest to date.
The blade will undergo a full range of advanced testing procedures, demonstrating its ability to withstand peak wind conditions and simulating its readiness for years of operation at sea. Three other 107 metre blades will soon be shipped to a prototype site in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Shipping and testing the first components of the Haliade-X 12 MW keeps GE Renewable Energy on track to commercialise the technology in 2021. Haliade-X 12 MW will contribute to making offshore wind more affordable and help developers drive the global growth of offshore wind, generating substantial economic and environmental benefits.
The production of the LM 107.0 P blade represents a milestone for the entire wind industry, as the first wind turbine blade to surpass 100 meters in length.
Hanif Mashal, LM Wind Power Vice President of Engineering, said: “LM Wind Power has broken the size record once again with this 107-meter blade. We are proud to begin its global validation program in the UK, where we have a long-term strategic partnership with ORE Catapult to test new products, including our previous record-breaking blade at 88.4 meters in length. Through LM Wind Power’s advanced technology development hub in Southampton, we look to continue our presence and cooperation with UK-based technology and R&D entities.”
Andrew Jamieson, Chief Executive of the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, said: “We’re delighted to have taken delivery of the world’s longest blade at our Blyth test facility, where we’ll put it through an extremely rigorous testing programme designed to make sure it can withstand years of operation at sea. This 107m blade, which is larger than the total wingspan of an A380 aircraft, represents a huge milestone for our industry and will be part of the innovative Haliade-X 12 MW next-generation offshore wind turbine. Testing these world-leading technologies here in the UK cements our position as a global leader in offshore wind and presents unparalleled opportunities for the UK supply chain to develop new products and services, creating jobs and generating economic benefit.”