A photo of the rotor of GE's Haliade-X offshore wind turbine

GE to Test 15.5 MW Offshore Wind Turbine Prototype in Norway

The US-headquartered GE Vernova plans to install a prototype of its next-generation 15.5 MW Haliade-X offshore wind turbine in Gulen, Norway, following a NOK 331 million (approximately EUR 29 million) funding approval from Enova, a government-backed agency.

The funds from Enova have been secured by Wergeland Group and Georgine Wind, which is owned by GE Vernova, to build a prototype offshore wind turbine on land.

The turbine will be installed in the Sløvågen industrial area in Gulen municipality. Astrid Lilliestråle, Enova’s director of technology and market development, said “This is an important step towards reducing the costs of floating offshore wind in the long term”.

The turbine will be installed in 2025 and will be tested for up to five years. Once testing has been completed, the unit is planned to remain on land and produce electricity for another 25 years.

The Haliade-X 15.5 MW-250 unit will have a rotor diameter of 250 metres, which is expected to contribute significantly to increased power production.

“The project is supported because it will verify and demonstrate a more cost-effective technology than what is available in the market today,” said Astrid Lilliestråle.

“This project will accelerate the Norwegian offshore wind initiative. If Norway is to meet its long-term climate commitments, industry and society must be electrified, and offshore wind plays an important role in this.”

In April 2024, the project was approved by Gulen’s municipal council and work is underway to re-regulate the area. The final licence from the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) is expected in the second half of 2024.

GE Vernova’s most powerful Haliade-X turbine at this time has an output of 14.7 MW. In March 2023, Scott L. Strazik, President and CEO of GE Power & Renewable Energy and CEO of GE Vernova, discussed the company’s backlog and profit improvements and – looking ahead – said the offshore wind market was receptive of its Haliade-X offshore wind platform of between 17 MW and 18 MW.

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When it comes to Norway, NVE’s latest long-term power market analysis outlines an increase in electricity consumption in Norway of 56 TWh in 2040, an increase of over 40 per cent compared to today. According to NVE, offshore wind is a key to meeting this power demand.

“Important parts of the initiative are about developing the technology and reducing development costs, and this project could possibly contribute to both. It will be exciting to follow further developments,” said Energy Minister Terje Aasland.

Andreas Bjelland Eriksen, Norway’s Minister of Climate and the Environment, said that the award from Enova will help the development of offshore wind technology in Norway.

“The government wants to facilitate the development of floating offshore wind power as a new leg to stand on for the Norwegian supplier industry”, Minister Eriksen stated.

Norway has set a target of reaching net zero by 2050 and has committed to establishing 30 GW of offshore wind power by 2040.

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