GE Renewable Energy says it plans to open a new blade manufacturing facility in Teesside in the north of England to support the growing offshore wind market and to produce blades for its Haliade-X turbine, which will power Dogger Bank, the world’s largest offshore wind farm.
The significant order of Haliade-X offshore wind turbines from Dogger Bank Wind Farm was a decisive factor in GE Renewable Energy’s decision to green light the new manufacturing plant, delivering a long-term renewable energy jobs boost to the region. The U.K. government has also provided support to GE Renewable Energy to set up the new plant as part of a greater effort to develop an industry and supply chain for the development of offshore wind in the country. This follows the designation of Teesside as one of the U.K.’s newest freeports.
“Teesside will continue to drive forward our green industrial revolution as we capitalize on new opportunities to produce clean energy through a brand new offshore wind port on the River Tees,” says U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson. “It will not only create thousands of jobs and harness the skills and expertise of this great industrial heartland, but also boost investment into the area as we build back greener.”
LM Wind Power, a GE Renewable Energy business, will set up and operate the state-of-the-art new facility at Teesworks, an ideal location to serve the vast offshore wind potential of the North Sea. It is anticipated the factory, which will start producing the 107-meter blades in 2023, will create up to 750 direct jobs – and around 1,500 indirect jobs – in the region. This brings the total number of new jobs supported by the construction and operation of Dogger Bank Wind Farm in the North East of England to more than 2,500 so far.
A substantial number of Haliade-X blades for Dogger Bank Wind Farm will be among the first orders to be delivered from the new manufacturing plant. Blades produced at Teesworks will be installed from 2024 onwards with the final number of blades from the plant destined for Dogger Bank to be confirmed in due course.
GE’s Haliade-X is one of the most powerful offshore wind turbine in operation today. The Haliade-X 13 MW turbine was confirmed for the first two phases of Dogger Bank Wind Farm in September 2020, with a record-breaking order for 190 of the innovative machines. GE Renewable Energy is preferred supplier for the third phase of Dogger Bank Wind Farm, where it will install its uprated Haliade-X 14 MW. The agreement for Dogger Bank C will be finalized in the first quarter, confirming the order and number of turbines for the project’s third phase, and will be subject to Dogger Bank C reaching financial close late this year.
The electricity generated by the turbines at Dogger Bank, which are between 130 km and 200 km from shore, will be transmitted onshore via subsea cables. Due to the distance of each of the Dogger Bank phases offshore, it will be the first U.K. wind farm to utilize an HVDC connection. The use of an HVDC connection will ensure the energy being transmitted over the long distances from the Dogger Bank offshore to the onshore grid connections will be achieved efficiently while minimizing losses.