This Chinese offshore wind turbine will be able to power 90K homes

In less than two weeks, Chinese wind turbine maker Mingyang has stolen the title of “world’s largest offshore wind turbine” from CSSC Haizhuang.

Another mammoth Chinese offshore wind turbine

Offshore wind turbines just keep getting bigger: Mingyang Smart Energy has unveiled the MySE 18.X-28X, and it’s bumped CSSC Haizhuang’s H260-18MW out of the top spot.

The MySE 18.X-28X features a rotor diameter of more than 919 feet (280 meters) and 459-foot (140-meter) blades. The turbine has a swept area of 711,000 square feet (66,052 square meters) – that’s equivalent to the area of nine football fields.

Under an annual average wind speed of 8.5 miles per second, each turbine can generate 80 GWh of electricity per year, and that’s enough to power 96,000 households, while reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 66,000 tonnes, according to Mingyang.

Compare that to CSSC Haizhuang’s H260-18MW’s specs:

The H260-18MW will have a rotor diameter of 853 feet (260 meters). To put that in perspective, that rotor diameter is as long as the height of the Haliade-X, which has a rotor diameter of 722 feet (220 meters). The 18 MW turbine will have 420-feet-long (128-meter-long) blades with a swept area of 570,487 square feet (53,000 square meters). 

Mingyang says its massive turbine will be able to operate reliably in “the most extreme ocean conditions such as a level-17 typhoon with wind speeds >56.1 m/s.”

The company doesn’t indicate a timeline for production on its announcement.

Why do offshore wind turbines keep getting bigger?

To put it succinctly, efficiency and cost cutting. Mingyang explained on LinkedIn:

When compared to the installation of 13 MW models, the higher output of the MySE18.X-28X would save 18 units required for a 1 GW wind farm, shaving off construction costs by $120,000-150,000 per megawatt.

Increasing the swept area of a wind turbine increases power output, and it costs money to put each offshore wind turbine into the seabed. So if you put a more powerful turbine in, then you’re going to need to install fewer wind turbines. It brings down the cost of installation, and eventually the cost of energy that the offshore wind turbines generate.

But it remains to be seen whether increasing the size of these giant wind turbines will throw up logistical and supply chain challenges.

Photo: Mingyang Smart Energy


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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at michelle@9to5mac.com. Check out her personal blog.