General Electric’s GE Renewable Energy subsidiary will open a new factory to manufacture offshore wind turbines as part of project to develop a 900-MW offshore wind "cluster" in Jieyang, Guangdong province. GE Renewable Energy further plans to establish a new operation and development center in the city of Guangzhou.
"Our new factory in Jieyang and the Operation & Development Center in Guangzhou will put us in a better position to meet our customer’s demands in this fast-growing industry, while contributing to meet China’s growing offshore wind ambitions," according to John Lavelle, CEO of Offshore Wind at GE Renewable Energy
The cost of the new development was not revealed. Site construction will begin later this year for completion in 2021, and will start assembly production in the second half of 2021.
Another GE executive, Rachel Duan, president & CEO, Global Growth Markets, said GE’s investments in Guangdong "will bring together advanced manufacturing, operations and development, services, and digital applications, together with relevant suppliers, to form an offshore wind business ecosystem that closely and effectively serves the needs of customers in China and the rest of Asia, while pushing forward China’s clean energy ambitions.”
While the factory will serve regional projects, GE Renewable Energy’s assembly site in Saint-Nazaire France, will continue to serve all other international projects. The French location also will remain GE’s global offshore wind headquarters, GE noted.
Together, the two operations will promote and support GE Renewable Energy’s supersized Haliade-X 12 MW turbine development —an offshore turbine design of which GE Renewable Energy and its partner Future Wind are building a prototype on land, near the North Sea, where engineers will have access to the operation under typical operating conditions during a five-year testing period. The prototype will be 260 meters tall from base to blade tips. Its rotor will cover a 220-m diameter.
The prototype is part of the $400-million investment to develop the Haliade-X, which GE Renewable Energy intends to reduce offshore wind’s cost of energy and make it more competitive.
The GE Renewable Energy operations and development center in Guangzhou will research and develop projects for the regional wind-energy market, support customers by optimizing project costs, training, data management, and operation and maintenance services. It will be the regional sales and project management office for GE Renewable Energy’s Offshore Wind business.
"China is poised to become one of the largest offshore wind markets in the world, and according to Guangdong’s Offshore Development Master Plan, 66 GW will come from the Guangdong region alone towards 2030. The cutting-edge technology of our Haliade-X 12 MW, the world’s most powerful offshore wind turbine, will bring value to our customers in the region," Lavelle stated.