Last week, LM Wind Power said it had successfully manufactured the world’s first wind turbine blade to surpass 100 meters in length.
The 107-meter blade completed the molding process at LM’s factory in Cherbourg, France and will now proceed with post-molding finishing touches, before undergoing rigorous testing and validation to demonstrate its ability to withstand more than 20 years of operation offshore.
The factory itself is brand new and is located on the banks of the English Channel in Normandy, just a short drive from the wide, sandy beaches where Allied troops landed on D-Day, said GE in a separate release. The plant was built near Cherbourg’s industrial port to allow workers to load the blades onto ships and send them to their destination.
Operating in three shifts, workers build the blades from a high-tech sandwich made from thin layers of glass and carbon fibers, and wood. They fuse everything together with a special resin.
When all is said and done, the blades will be used in GE’s Haliade-X 12 MW offshore wind turbine, the world’s most powerful wind turbine to date.
Lukasz Cejrowski, LM 107.0 P Project Director, LM Wind Power, said “The LM 107.0 P is one of the biggest single-components ever built. This is an amazing achievement not only for LM Wind Power and GE Renewable Energy, but for the entire wind industry.”
Alexis Crama, LM Wind Power Vice President, Offshore, said: “This achievement was made possible by our team of highly passionate people developing technology and manufacturing processes, to revolution yet again the offshore wind industry with ever-larger and more reliable rotor blades – thus capturing more wind and ultimately delivering an even lower levelized cost of energy!”