The five 370-ton nacelles were manufactured in Saint-Nazaire, France and are scheduled for shipment to the United States in mid-July for installation at the Block Island offshore wind farm.
The 30-MW Block Island project, owned by Deepwater Wind, lies off the coast of Rhode Island and is the first offshore wind farm in the United States. Once complete, it will produce 125,000 MWh of electricity per year. The installation is scheduled for grid connection by the end of 2016.
“This marks a milestone for the company and we are proud to contribute to the Block Island project, the first offshore wind farm in the United States. This demonstrates our readiness to respond to not only the French but also expanding international demand,” said Jérôme Pécresse, Chairman and CEO of GE Renewable Energy.
Inaugurated in December 2014, GE’s factory in Saint-Nazaire is designed to produce up to 100 turbines per year. The plant currently employs 140 people, but will ultimately employ as many as 300 employees. Up next, the plant will assemble 66 wind turbines intended for the Merkur wind farm in Germany, followed by 238 turbines to be installed by EDF Energies Nouvelles at French wind farms in Saint-Nazaire, Courseulles-sur-Mer, and Fécamp.
The Haliade™ turbine was designed for marine environments. Its150-metre blades give the turbine 15 percent higher output than offshore turbines of the same generation. At a total height of 170 meters, a Haliade turbine can produce 6 MW of power.