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GE Renewable begins shipping 'double Airbus' wind turbines to U.S.

Staff Writer |
The GE Renewable Energy offshore wind turbine plant in Saint-Nazaire, France is completing the manufacturing of its first commercial series of Haliade Offshore wind turbine nacelles.

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The five 370-tonne nacelles are scheduled to begin their voyage to the United States in mid-July. They will equip the Block Island offshore wind farm, the first of its kind in the U.S.

The Block Island project is situated off the coast of Providence, Rhode Island on the East coast of the United States. The Haliade turbines, ordered by GE’s American customer Deepwater Wind, will be installed starting in August.

With a total capacity of 30 MW, the Block Island offshore farm will produce 125,000 MWh of electricity per year, enough to supply electric power to 17,000 households. It will be connected to the grid by the end of 2016.

The industrial site at Saint-Nazaire, inaugurated in December 2014, was designed to produce up to 100 turbines per year. The plant currently employs 140 people; in the long term, it will have as many as 300 employees.

The Saint-Nazaire plant will also be the assembly site for 66 wind turbines intended for the Merkur wind farm in Germany, followed by the 238 turbines slated to equip the three French wind farms in Saint-Nazaire, Courseulles-sur-Mer and Fécamp installed by EDF Energies Nouvelles,

The Haliade turbine was specifically designed for a marine environment. Thanks to its 150-metre blades, its output is 15% higher than the offshore turbines of the same generation.

Producing 6 MW of power, it is capable of supplying the equivalent of 5,000 households per year, with annual CO2 savings of more than 21,000 tonnes. At a total height of 170 metres, the Haliade is almost twice as tall as Big Ben.

Its blade, which measures 150 metres in diameter, is comparable to twice the wingspan of an Airbus. Its outsized blades cover a surface area of 17,860 m2, three times the area of a football field.

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