Tuesday, May 21, 2024

World’s first 16MW offshore wind turbine begins generating electricity

The world’s first 16-megawatt (MW) offshore wind turbine off the coast of east China’s Fujian Province was successfully connected to the power grid and began generating electricity on Wednesday.

The wind turbine at the Fujian offshore wind farm is operated by the China Three Gorges Corporation. The company said the wind turbine has the largest single-unit generating capacity of all turbines in operation worldwide.

It has a rotor diameter of 252 meters (827 feet). The hub center height of the 16 MW offshore wind turbine is 152 meters, and the combined weight of the engine room and generator is 385 tons. The turbine’s blades are each 123 meters long, weigh 54 tons, and can sweep an area of approximately 50,000 square meters – the size of seven standard soccer fields.

This demonstration unit sits in the Fujian offshore wind farm, which is affected by the “narrow tube effect” of the Taiwan Strait. According to the company, there are more than 300 days of strong winds above level 6 and more than 200 days of strong winds above level 7 throughout the year. The annual average wind speed exceeds 9 meters per second.

Based on years of wind measurement data in this sea area, a single 16 MW wind turbine can generate 34.2 kWh per revolution. It is expected to generate more than 66 million kWh of clean electricity per year, which can meet the annual electricity consumption needs of 36,000 three-member households. This is equivalent to saving about 22,000 tonnes of standard coal and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by about 54,000 tonnes.

“The unit will fully test the design performance during commercial operation and provide technical support for the large-scale batch application of large-scale offshore wind power units with 16 MW in the future,” said Lu Pengyuan, deputy general manager of Three Gorges Energy.

In the next step, the 16 MW unit will be applied in batches in the second phase of the Zhangpu Liuao Offshore Wind Farm Project constructed by China Three Gorges Corporation. The Zhangpu Liuao Phase 2 offshore wind farm will be able to produce about 1.6 TWh of electricity per year. This can save about 500,000 tons of standard coal and reduce emissions by about 1.36 million tons annually, according to the company.

“The 16-megawatt offshore wind turbine is a breakthrough in the core technology of the offshore wind power industrial chain, and it will boost the sustainable development of the country’s offshore wind power industry,” said Lei Mingshan, chairman of the China Three Gorges Corporation.

Offshore wind turbines will continue to grow in size. Back in January, China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) was already building an 18-megawatt wind turbine.