Siemens Gamesa, a leading name in the wind turbine industry, is set to make history by installing the world’s largest wind turbine at a facility in Denmark, as reported by various EU media outlets. The EU Innovation Fund has granted a substantial 30 million euros for Siemens Gamesa’s Highly Innovative Prototype of the most Powerful Offshore Wind turbine generator (HIPPOW) project, even before specific details about the turbine have been made public.
The global market for offshore wind turbines has become fiercely competitive, with manufacturers striving to increase the power ratings of their turbines. The unique advantage of high-speed winds at sea allows these turbines to generate large amounts of energy efficiently.
Notably, manufacturers in China have made significant strides in both power ratings and installation efficiency. Recognizing the innovation landscape in China, the EU is channeling efforts to bring disruptive innovation to Europe, with Siemens Gamesa as a beneficiary of their trust and a substantial grant.
The HIPPOW project, shrouded in secrecy with details not disclosed publicly, focuses on groundbreaking innovations in nominal power, bearings, electrical systems, blade and tower installation, cooling systems, and maintenance strategies.
According to a European Commission data sheet, this project is expected to play a pivotal role in the EU’s decarbonization efforts, aiming to reduce dependency on fossil fuels. What sets it apart is its accelerated timeline, with work commencing in April and operations set to begin before the year concludes, promising rapid developments throughout 2024.
Siemens Gamesa has already established itself with offshore wind turbines boasting a power rating of 14/15 MW. In the competitive landscape, its counterparts Vestas and GE have plans for turbines rated at 15 MW and 18 MW, respectively.
On the other side of the globe, Chinese OEMs like Goldwind and MingYang have been installing 16 MW turbines and recently unveiled an 18 MW typhoon-proof turbine. To claim the title of the world’s largest turbine, Siemens Gamesa would need to target a rating of 20 MW or higher, a significant leap from its historical approach of gradual power rating increases.
Experts, however, caution that jumping to a 20 MW turbine might limit Siemens Gamesa’s profitability from the existing 14/15 MW turbine development. They suggest a focus on completing the installation of an 18 MW turbine by the year-end could be a more strategic move.
Importantly, Siemens Gamesa hasn’t shared where they will put the super powerful wind turbine – whether in a test place or a regular wind farm. This mystery adds a curious touch to Siemens Gamesa’s big plan. Even though we don’t know all the details yet, the HIPPOW project shows that Siemens Gamesa is really committed to making better wind turbines and playing a big part in making offshore wind energy even more advanced.