GE (NYSE: GE) today introduced its 4.1-113 wind turbine, a four-megawatt (MW) class machine that is optimized for offshorewind farm use and is designed to bring a new level of reliability to the offshore wind industry. GE has signed a contract to supply a 4.1-113 wind turbine, along with associated services, to Göteborg Energi for installation in the Gothenburg, Sweden harbor in the second half of 2011, GE announced at the European Wind Energy Association’s EWEA 2011 today. This wind power project is supported by the Swedish Energy Agency through its technology program, demonstrating its interest in leading offshore technology.
“We are proud to announce the next milestone in our offshore strategy plan. Our 4.1-113 wind turbine represents our most advanced technology. It is the only direct-drive wind turbine designed specifically for offshore wind farm today.”
“We are proud to announce the next milestone in our offshore strategy plan. Our 4.1-113 wind turbine represents our most advanced technology. It is the only direct-drive wind turbine designed specifically for offshore wind power today,” said Victor Abate, vice president—renewable energy for GE Power & Water. “With Göteborg Energi we have a great partner and we welcome the support of the local authorities on our project.”
With fewer moving parts, the direct-drive technology provides a simple, reliable design with built-in redundancy and partial operation for major components, all focused on keeping turbines operating reliably at sea. The direct-drive technology eliminates costly gearbox parts, lowering operating expenses, and also relies on an innovative modular approach to maximize in-situ repair and reduce the need for large repair vessels. The 4.1-113 blade design is optimized to maximize energy capture.
The 4.1-113 design builds on the evolution of the 3.5 MW direct-drive design, the industry’s most proven offshore direct-drive turbine, and benefits from GE’s experience of more than 16,000 units installed onshore. The base design has been operating since 2005 on a coastal site in Norway in a harsh environment with high wind speed and high turbulence. The equivalent of 50 years of lessons learned is built into the 4.1-113 design, making it the most mature direct-drive design for offshore applications as well as demonstrating levels of reliability on par with GE’s onshore fleet. The design is also drawn from the solutions developed for GE’s onshore fleet, including GE’s Advanced Loads Control solution, which helps to reduce forces being passed to the machine and lower foundation costs.
“GE offers the most advanced technology with a proven platform and maximum output,” said Jonas Cognell, director renewable electricity of Göteborg Energi. “In Sweden, there is still a lot of potential for the wind energy business, especially offshore.”
GE also has joined the Chalmers Wind Energy Center to help shape the Swedish wind energy landscape further. About 50 new jobs will be created by 2016 as a result of GE’s investment in the country.
This project in Gothenburg harbor is part of GE’s offshore footprint European strategy, representing a 340 million Euro investment in its offshore business.