Two Chinese companies announced production of the largest offshore wind turbine built to date, a 16-MW unit developed by China Three Gorges (CTG) and Goldwind.
The groups on Nov. 24 showed off the turbine at a factory in Fujian province. The turbine has a 252-meter rotor diameter, with a 50,000-meter sweep area. The hub height is 146 meters.
Lei Mingshan, chairman of CTG, in a statement said, “The successful rollout of the 16-MW unit marks that my country’s wind power equipment industry has achieved a historic leap from ‘following’ to ‘running alongside’ and then to ‘leading’, creating the latest benchmark for the development of global offshore wind power equipment.”
The new unit comes not long after Goldwind, based in Beijing, and CTG unveiled a 13.6-MW turbine. Goldwind has touted that Chinese turbine manufacturers are on par, and now exceeding, units produced by other industry giants including GE, Siemens Gamesa, and Vestas. Goldwind has expanded its manufacturing to other countries, and in October announced it would build a production facility in Brazil that would serve the South American market.
Chinese turbine manufacturer CSSC Haizhuang, which is part of the China State Shipbuilding Corp., in October said it planned to roll out a 16.7-MW turbine model by the end of this year.
Mingshan said the new 16-MW model was developed as Chinese government officials have called for manufacturers to design advanced renewable energy technologies. Zhai Endi, chief engineer for Goldwind, in a statement said, “The 16-MW unit has made important technological breakthroughs in the R&D [research and development] and manufacturing of key core components such as large main shaft bearings and ultra-long lightweight blades.”
Endi continued, “The high level of digitalization for turbine operation status monitoring can intelligently adjust the operation mode for severe weather such as typhoons to ensure the safety and efficient power generation of the turbines.”
China’s MingYang Smart Energy group, also reportedly working on a 16-MW turbine model, earlier this month said it would deploy a 14-MW turbine in the planned 1-GW Fanshiyi offshore wind farm near Yangjiang, in Guangdong province, next year.
CTG has developed some of the world’s largest power generation projects, including major hydropower projects. Those include the 10.2-GW Wudongde Hydropower Station, which earlier this year was chosen as POWER’s Plant of the Year.
—Darrell Proctor is a senior associate editor for POWER (@POWERmagazine).