GE Renewable Energy and the U.K.’s Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult have signed a five-year research and development agreement to test and develop next-generation offshore wind technologies.
GE’s recently announced Haliade-X 12 MW offshore wind turbine and existing Haliade 150-6 MW will undergo advanced test and demonstration programs that accurately replicate real-world operational conditions in order to enhance performance and reliability. Testing will take place at ORE Catapult’s 15 MW power train test facility in Blyth, Northumberland.
R&D activities will include cooling technologies, converters, loading conditions across mechanical and electrical components, grid testing, and design validation.
“This is an important agreement because it will enable us to prove Haliade-X in a faster way by putting it under controlled and extreme conditions,” says John Lavelle, president and CEO of GE’s offshore wind business.
In addition to the R&D activities, the agreement also includes an $8.5 million combined investment with Innovate UK and the European Regional Development Fund to install a 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, will enable the partners, U.K. 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.