Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA, the Spanish wind turbine manufacturer, is to build what will be the world’s biggest windmill, by the thinnest of margins. The 14-megawatt machine with a rotor diameter of 222 meters (728 feet) will be just two meters bigger than General Electric Co’s own massive turbine. It’s another sign that size matters when it comes to the rapidly growing market for green power from offshore wind farms.
Since GE debuted its own 12-megawatt Haliade-X turbine in March 2018, the machine has racked up numerous orders, including for the world’s biggest offshore wind farm that will be built off the coast of England, and cut into the business that’s been dominated by Siemens Gamesa and to a lesser extent by MHI Vestas Offshore Wind A/S.
The Siemens Gamesa turbine, which the company’s calling SG 14-222 DD, will be ready for a prototype in 2021 and commercially available in 2024. With the new machine cutting off GE’s claim on the world’s biggest windmill, Siemens Gamesa will be well positioned to solidify its position as the market leader.
Competition among manufacturers is intense because each wind farm is so large and there are relatively few of them compared to wind farms on land. For developers competing to win government contracts to build the wind parks, the turbine they choose is one of the most important decisions.