The Netherlands is popular for its astonishing windmills, however; even the Netherlands has never seen anything like what GE is preparing for it. According to GE, it is working on building the world’s largest wind turbine just outside the city of Rotterdam. The new wind turbine has been called Haliade-X and will be placed 850 feet high from the turbine’s base to the blade’s top.
The Haliade-X shall produce 12 megawatts of power – that is enough to keep the lights on in over 15,000 homes. It is a prototype of a line that the company intends to build all over the world. The Haliade-X is meant to be an offshore turbine, however; GE is manufacturing this particular prototype on land and tests are underway. Once the building is complete, the engineers will spend the next five years checking on the prototype and making fine adjustments to the design as needed.
Why does the Haliade-X need such thorough testing? It is, after all, just a wind turbine. That’s a legitimate question, and the response is because the blades on this particular monster are enormous. Each blade measures in at over a length of 350 feet. For comparison’s sake; that is longer than a football field. The blades are so huge that it is not possible to transport them from GE’s factory in North America. Therefore, the company had to build a brand-new factory in France for building them.
The construction of the Haliade-X will kick off this year, and GE is hopeful that it will be able to obtain a type certificate enabling it to sell the turbine commercially no later than 2021. If all goes well, you will be witnessing these huge turbines popping up all over the North Sea and bringing clean electricity to tens of thousands of households.