GE Renewable Energy signed an agreement with the British government to test the company’s Haliade-X 12 MW turbine in Blyth, Northumberland.  GE photo.

GE Renewable Energy and UK’s Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult sign five-year agreement

GE Renewable Energy along with the United Kingdom’s Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult have penned a five-year agreement which will see the two companies test and develop the next generation of offshore wind technologies.

The company will test its Haliade-X 12 MW offshore wind turbine and Haliade 150-6MW turbine under replicated real-world conditions to enhance performance and reliability.

John Lavelle, President & CEO of GE’s Offshore Wind business, said “Traditional testing methods rely on local wind conditions and therefore have limited repeatability for testing.”

He added “By using ORE Catapult’s facilities and expertise, we will be in a better position to adapt our technology in a shortened time, reduce unplanned maintenance, increase availability and power output, while introducing new features to meet customers’ demands.”

ORE Catapult is the UK’s leading technology innovation and research centre for offshore renewable energy.  The centre’s goal is to improve existing and develop next generation renewable energy technology in the UK.

The turbine testing will take place at ORE Catapult’s 15MW power train test facility in Blyth, Northumberland.

ORE Catapult Chief Executive, Andrew Jamieson said “This five-year collaborative program with GE Renewable Energy is a testament to the Catapult’s world class engineering, research and development capabilities across all aspects of wind turbine development and performance.

According to GE Renewable Energy, the testing will drive technology improvements and help the UK develop its supply chain and boost access to demonstration opportunities for small businesses.

“Through our Industrial Strategy, we are making the UK a global leader in renewables, including offshore wind, with more support available than any other country in the world,” said UK Government Energy & Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry.

She added “With 22 per cent of all investment in European wind projects coming to the UK, the offshore wind industry is exceptionally well placed to boost supplies of home grown clean energy whilst growing new jobs and opportunities.”

GE and ORE will work closely on projects including power trains, blades and electrical infrastructure.

“We look forward to helping GE to both enhance their existing portfolio and bring new products and services to the offshore wind market, while simultaneously generating significant economic growth opportunities in the UK,” said Jamieson.

The agreement also includes a £6 million combined investment with Innovate UK and the European Regional Development Fund to install the world’s largest and most powerful grid emulation system at the Catapult’s National Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth.

Supplied by GE Power, Grid Emulation, in conjunction with the Catapult’s power train test facilities, the project will allow the partners, UK companies and researchers to better assess the interaction between the next generation of large scale wind turbines and the electrical distribution network in challenging environments.