World's largest offshore wind turbine starts operating at 14 MW
More than three years after revealing plans to build a monster offshore wind turbine called the Haliade-X, GE Renewable Energy has announced that the prototype of the latest and most powerful member of the family has started operating at 14 MW in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
The first version in the Haliade-X platform became the first offshore wind turbine to operate at 12 megawatts (MW) in November 2019. The uprated Haliade-X 13 model launched in 2020 and received its type certification in January of this year, and now GE Renewable Energy has become the first in the industry to run a turbine at 14 MW.
Essentially an enhanced version of the other turbines in the platform, each of the Haliade-X 14's blades measures 107 m (351 ft) long, it stands 260 m (853 ft) high and the company reckons that the turbine has the potential to produce up to 74 GWh of energy each year.
The flagship of the Haliade-X platform will make its commercial debut at the Dogger Bank C offshore wind farm some 130 km (80 miles) off the North East coast of England, where 87 turbines will be installed. Each of the three phases of the project is expected to have a generation capacity of 1.2 GW, with all three reported capable of powering some six million homes when the "world's biggest offshore wind farm" is up and running in 2026.
GE Renewable Energy has now started the process to get the 14 MW model ready for certification.
Of course the Haliade-X 14 might not be the world's largest and most powerful offshore wind turbine for long, with Denmark's Vestas already nipping at its heels with the – still in development – V236-15.0 MW model, which is due to be built next year and enter serial production in 2024, and the 16-MW MySE 16.0-242 from China's MingYang Smart Energy also due to begin commercial production in 2024.
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Two 500 MW Molten Salt Reactors from ThorCon will generate about the same amount of electricity per day, but won't stop when the wind don't blow ! In addition they will generate almost as much heat which can be sold for District Heating/Cooling. Wind turbines & solar CAN'T DO THAT ! ThorCon expects to manufacture 20 500 MW units PER YEAR. That's equal to 10 of those wind farm/year or 10 x 87 turbines = 870 turbines PER YEAR.
Seriously?!! At the best part of a billion dollars a pop (not surprisingly, clear pricing is impossible to obtain), I think you’re out of your mind. On top of which there would then be the eventual cost of decommissioning which could be 2 to 3 times as much and the reactor would produce vast amounts of radioactive waste throughout its entire lifetime.
Conversely, one haliade-x wind turbine costs about $11m (so you could buy roughly 100 of them for the cost of one 500 MW thorium reactor) capable of producing twice as much energy (peak). Alternatively, the same amount of energy plus a battery big enough to deal with the fluctuations of wind power. On top of that they produce absolutely no pollution whatsoever in their operating lifetime and can be decommissioned at very small cost leaving an almost unblemished landscape. I know which I would rather have in my neighbourhood.
So, back to the drawing board, Bill!!
Don't forget, output from this device is stochastic, capable of supplying neither base load nor dispatchable power, nor does it add any frequency-stabilising system inertia to the grid.
Every last milliwatt must be supported by readily available backup, usually gas open cycle turbine generation, meaning that the generators will be subject to multiple cold starts reducing their service life and supplemented by rotational inertia devices, often repurposed generator sets.
So there is no economic case for such generators, and very shortly the advent of Solar Cycle 25 will disprove the necessity for unreliable - er sorry, renewable - energy altogether.
However, each advancement in renewable energy simply confirms how superior is nuclear power. If we would put as much effort into new, federally-funded nuclear plant design, our move to a clean energy society would be swift...and complete in very few years.....without the visual blight of wind turbines.
Wind turnines might not make as much power as a nuclear plant, but they will never give us a Three Mile Isalnd, Chernobyl or Fukushima Daiichi