GE announces monster 12 megawatt wind turbine – nearly as tall as the Eiffel Tower

From the “bigger they are, the harder they fall” department comes this monster from General Electric:

GE Renewable Energy GE will invest more than USD 400 million over the next three to five years to develop and deploy the largest, most powerful offshore wind turbine – the Haliade-X 12 MW.

Featuring a 12MW direct drive generator and a capacity factor of 63 percent, the Haliade-X will produce 45 percent more energy than any other offshore turbine available today, the company said.

GE Renewable Energy aims to supply its first nacelle for demonstration in 2019 and ship the first Haliade-X units in 2021.

Towering 260 meters (853 feet) over the sea, more than five times the size of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France, the Haliade-X 12 MW carries a 220-meter rotor.

Designed and manufactured by LM Wind Power, the 107-meter-long blades will be the longest offshore blades to date and will be longer than the size of a soccer field.

Jérôme Pécresse, President and CEO of GE Renewable Energy said:

“The renewables industry took more than 20 years to install the first 17 GW of offshore wind. Today, the industry forecasts that it will install more than 90 GW over the next 12 years. This is being driven by lower cost of electricity from scale and technology. The Haliade-X shows GE’s commitment to the offshore wind segment and will set a new benchmark for cost of electricity, thus driving more offshore growth.”


Introducing the Haliade-X 12 MW, the most powerful offshore wind turbine in the world to date, featuring a 12 MW capacity (the world’s first), 220-meter rotor, a 107-meter blade designed by LM Wind Power, and digital capabilities. In addition to being the biggest offshore wind turbine, the Haliade-X will also be the most efficient of wind turbines in the ocean. Best of all, it’s capable of transforming more wind into power than any other offshore wind turbine today.

The Haliade-X 12 MW also features a 63% capacity factor*—five to seven points above industry standard. Each incremental point in capacity factor represents around $7 million in revenue for our customers over the life of a windfarm.

The offshore wind turbine design of the Haliade-X is what makes it unique. The combination of a bigger rotor, longer blades and higher capacity factor makes Haliade-X less sensitive to wind speed variations, increasing predictability and the ability to generate more power at low wind speeds. The Haliade-X can capture more Annual Energy Production (AEP) than any other offshore wind turbine even at low wind conditions.

This 12 MW ocean wind turbine can also generate 67 GWh annually, which is 45% more AEP than the most powerful machines on the market today, and twice as much as the Haliade 150-6MW. One Haliade-X 12 MW can generate enough clean power to supply 16,000 European households according to wind conditions on a typical German North Sea site. Based on a 750 MW windfarm and an estimated AEP, the Haliade-X 12 MW could produce enough power for up to 1 million households.


h/t to Roger Sowell

No word yet on what the “carbon footprint” of producing and installing this beast is, and whether it will actually going to offset its own footprint during its useful operational lifetime.

Given what happened at the wind farm in Punta Lima, Playa Hucares, Puerto Rico when Category 4 Hurricane Maria made landfall on September 24th, one wonders if the materials in this monster turbine are up to the task of scaling up the size. The wind loading would be massive and untested, and could only be modeled.


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Gonna be a bother to deice.

Tom Halla

Yet another green prayer wheel.

That’s quality humor.


Ya, Max, this is Murray, sell…sell everything I got in GE, its gonna tank – best to get out now


So long, sea birds! Been nice to see you.

R. Shearer

They won’t know what hit them.

Alan Robertson

So what. Cats kill birds.
(Do I have a future as an eco- justice warrior, or what?)

Mike McMillan

It ain’t seagulls you need to worry about.comment image


Neither will airline pilots.


” … We can not allow a windmill gap! …”


Alan Robertson: Yes, cats kill birds. So do tailings ponds (rarely). but in that case all the greens get up in arms. Hypocrisy anyone?

Tarquin Wombat-Carruthers

I’d advise John Kerry not to wind-surf too close, and suggest avoidance of the area by airliners up to A380 size!

Carbon Bigfoot

This is another reason why GE stock is in the toilet.


Blade hits birds. Birds fall into sea. More fish come to eat diced birds, more birds preying on fish eating diced birds, more birds diced. Copy and paste

Tom Schaefer

A pinkish colored paste.

It appears the larger they are the more efficient they are. Also, blades run slower for less potential bird damage. In addition, this gets them up off the sea surface and all that salt corrosion up at the top power plant.

Yes more efficient.But the bigger they are rthe faster the blades are at the end(it only looks slower).


But will it generate dead sea bats sea-bird extinctions electricity power?
Will it cause create piscine refugees?


I ran the power equation backward and got an optimal wind speed of 25 miles per hour for this puppy.


Not true – the tip speed is still limited by an optimum Mach number, same as a smaller windmill

Ask an expert.How can it be limited if it is faster only at the end?In the middle its always 0.Also if it its 2 time bigger the energy of destruction is 4 time bigger.So it must be build much heavier,but heavier means again mire destruction energy on the whole isntallation.


RPM of the rotor is lower but blade tip speeds will remain about the same, its a matter of the most efficient aerodnamic blade aerofoils, so bird strikes particularly with the larger area of the rotor and with the rotor reaching much higher into the probable bird travelled pathways is likely to be more severe on ocean bird life than the smaller turbines.
But that won’t trouble the ethically and morally challenged promoters of this highly destructive to bird life and ultimately in the overall scheme of energy generation, fairly useless albeit horrendously expensive bit of technology as being way out in the ocean bird injuries can’t be recorded and bird deaths counted as they fall into the Ocean below.
There is already evidence that the very low frequency infra sound pulses of the rotating blades that in the case of onshore turbines create severe health problems for about 20% of the population that are forced to live within a few kilometres of a turbine farm, in the case of the off shore turnbines the constant repetitive low frequency infra sound is being transmitted into the ocean waters and is having a quite serious effect on the various ocean species that use sound as a communications and warning alarm system.
An ocean species version of having to listen to the never ceasing constant drone of an aircraft’s multi piston engined driven propellers operating out of sychronisation.


You’re right. Not only that but the noise involved in installing the wind mills is considerable. link It’s a bad deal for the whales, from start to finish.


Yeah, but you know what they always say – it’s just the tip, baby.

Dennis Sandberg

what do you think the speed is at the tip of the blades…don’t think slower….

Dennis Sandberg

I did a quick calculation and came up with 150 MPH (nominal) rotor tip speed with a 6 rpm shaft speed.,,,but this is my first speed/distance calculation since college…40 years ago,..anyone else?


154 MPH tip speed is what I came up with on 110 meter radius blade at 6 RPM.

Mike McMillan

I timed the rotor in the video below, and came up with 21 seconds per revolution, which is around 73 mph, so a lot slower than smaller turbines.


While they blades may be doing fewer RPM, the tips are moving just as fast, if not faster.

Dennis Sandberg

thanks Joel, that’s is exactly what I got, just rounded to post….too fast…stop this worth less than nothing spinning junk…hopefully the scale of this monster will belatedly show the greens where this “technology” is headed and they will end their support. They did it with ethanol so there is hope and precedence.


GE needs to install this thing at their Corporate headquarters. Outside their labs where they’re working on the GESLA storage battery. Drop a line through the window. See if works . . . no words for this government financed giganticus raticus fornicus . . . wretched . . . wretched . . . waste . . . fraud

old white guy

they run the usual blather about a carbon footprint, which is meaningless. they should be concerned about filling the ocean with scrap metal, because that is what it will eventually be.


View it as a future artificial reef.


Coral and fish love human structures and scrap, they live in it and live on it in profusion, divers and fisher men also love it (unless you’re trawling and snag nets, but that’s what GPS and a coupled marine autopilot is for).

“Donald Kasper May 10, 2018 at 5:13 pm
It appears the larger they are the more efficient they are. Also, blades run slower for less potential bird damage. In addition, this gets them up off the sea surface and all that salt corrosion up at the top power plant.”

Dismissive diversion and utterly bogus.
These turbines are taller and much larger.
When it comes to wind turbines maiming and killing birds, it is the blade’s tip speed.
That a blade turns slightly slower is meaningless when the blade is longer and the blade’s tip tracks a much larger circumference.
Nor does it remove, eliminate or even minimize salt water corrosive effects.


“Donald Kasper May 10, 2018 at 5:13 pm
This gets them up off the sea surface and all that salt corrosion up at the top power plant.”
“ATheoK May 11, 2018 at 5:28 am
Nor does it remove, eliminate or even minimize salt water corrosive effects.”
ATheoK, can you elaborate a bit on your no-it-doesn’t response?
It is my understanding (from decades of making equipment for the US Navy) that raising _anything_ above various height thresholds dramatically (though not linearly) reduces the effects of salt water corrosion.
Obviously, height does not change the corrosive effects of salt water, but height does reduce the amount of salt water that ends up in the electronics.

“RM25483 May 11, 2018 at 6:53 am
“Donald Kasper May 10, 2018 at 5:13 pm
This gets them up off the sea surface and all that salt corrosion up at the top power plant.”
“ATheoK May 11, 2018 at 5:28 am
Nor does it remove, eliminate or even minimize salt water corrosive effects.”
ATheoK, can you elaborate a bit on your no-it-doesn’t response?
It is my understanding (from decades of making equipment for the US Navy) that raising _anything_ above various height thresholds dramatically (though not linearly) reduces the effects of salt water corrosion.
Obviously, height does not change the corrosive effects of salt water, but height does reduce the amount of salt water that ends up in the electronics.”

Your statement is valid for salt corrosion caused by immersion or frequent immersion into salt water.
Anything above the water gets salt spray and if corrodible, corrodes.
Plus, the Navy has a few hundred years of direct salt water experience and protective procedures against salt corrosion.
Nor does the Navy expect exposed electric motors and generators to last very long, unless they get frequent maintenance.
However, I don’t think GE will field teams to constantly inspect, clean, repair salt contaminated equipment.
Your ending summation agrees with my statement. Salt contamination is what happens, claims for reduced salt contamination is a smokescreen.
Dip a piece of corrodible metal into salt water, remove it and let it dry. It will start corroding almost immediately.
Unless specific direct action is taken to stop and prevent corrosion, it will continue.
Having lived and worked in NE USA and along the Gulf Coast, one learns that salt spray spreads and corrodes.
During a period working near the USA Gulf Coast, USPS deployed aluminum bodied vehicles that were fastened together with corrosion susceptible steel bolts.
The result was vehicles that literally had van bodies fall onto the frames within a few years. Vehicles that never came within miles of the Gulf’s salt water suffered extensive damage.
The Gulf Coast never salts roads against snow or ice, so road salt isn’t to blame.
The cause? Primarily salt spray; yes, they had to commission an investigation to determine that cause.
Shortly after that another USPS team got a great deal lowest bid for installing mailboxes throughout the Florida Panhandle.
Installing mailboxes requires concrete embedded mounting bolts to bolt the mailboxes down.
-a) To prevent storms from using mailboxes as flying object.
-b) To prevent vandals’thieves from stealing mailboxes.
-c) To prevent mailboxes from falling over on people.
-d) Mailbox installation requirements are regulated; but the team assumed the Contractor read all of the specifications and they never checked installations. Otherwise, the first concrete emplacements would have identified improper materials because the anchor bolts were rusting within days.
1) Those anchor bolts rusted away, leaving USPS with several lawsuits for mailboxes that injured people.
2) The main cause was poor bolt choice that were easily and surprisingly quickly destroyed through salt spray.
3) Most of these boxes were installed miles from Gulf salt water.
4) USPS ended up sending out mailbox inspection teams from maintenance to correct installations; chiseling out incorrect anchor bolts and re-cementing new ones into place.
The key action involved is salt spray!
Any/all salt contamination is destructive, unless the entire installation is guaranteed corrosion proof.
– 1) An amazing accomplishment for turbines requiring large amounts of copper, solder, special alloy bearings, circuits, etc.
Which brings us back to:

“This gets them up off the sea surface and all that salt corrosion up at the top power plant.”

This statement is pure semantics. Semantics that alleges generators, bearings, wiring and circuit boards raised a few meters higher, than existing turbines, stop corroding.


not more efficient, but more powerful, as power comes as square of blade length.


This thing is so big when the wind doesn’t blow it will provide an even bigger hole to fill by alternate (conventional) means. Plus if it is put in a flyway the tips just might take out entire flocks of geese.
I assume the tips will be lit for aircraft to see. Just lighting the tower will leave a substantial structure above it unlit as the blades pass over it.
Probably see a documentary on the Discovery Channel on installing this thing, which will be an engineering marvel all by itself.


Maybe color changing LED lighting on the blade edges? OK, I hate this thing and where it comes from, but something like that would be interesting to watch for a few minutes.


That’s what I was thinking. White may not be the right color for them. Some disturbing visual pattern might be seen better by birds.


No, it will have to conform to aviation regs, as per all towers and tall buildings do—red strobes.


Give it a good breeze and you could use the LEDs to produce spectacular video effects.
Giant bill board, even motion video. Visible from the beach.
koo koo kachoo!


If those blades were spinning fast enough for that to work, the centripetal forces at the tips would be enough to create small black holes.


So long as there is no tax payer money involved, I say GE go for it.
PS Did the advent of the motor car attract any government money? Well its worth counting which marvelous inventions that actually improved our lives. if you can think of one, please let me know.


I don’t have a problem with government giving private enterprise a leg up, as long as it doesn’t agree to carry it at the expense of taxpayers.
Lots of companies get tax breaks etc. to develop new products, R&D in the UK attracts lots of it, or it did when I was involved.


Tax breaks for R&D to develop new products are OK. Wind has been on the government teat for 25 years. Way past time to wean the industry.


Tax Breaks for R&D is basically giving tax payers money to someone in particular. The only good tax brake is one that is given to every earner.


As has been said of other very heavily subsidised industries in the past, the wind and renewable energy industries have the “Socialising of Costs” and the “Capitalising of Profits” sorted out down to a very fine degree.
The latest lurk of the wind industry apparently from New Zealand where a proposal from the wind industry is for “support” aka “subsidies” to be paid on the “plated” maximum output of the turbine, not on its actual real measured generated output which is around a 30% capacity factor or generally only a third or less than the “plated” claimed maximum output.
[ German on shore turbines , all 27, 000 [ Twenty seven thousand ] of them operate at an 18% capacity factor, less than one fifth of their plated maximum output ],


GE has a room full of people making sure green energy (or at least the local government) pays all the bills. The tax man cometh.


Are you sure that a “leg Up” by a government does not involve tax payers money? Could the leg up be financed by the Queen then or maybe a whip around MP’s to help with their own money? 🙂


Now there’s a nice idea. 🙂


If everybody is taxed so that everybody can get a subsidy, the only people who win are those giving out the subsidies.


It’s been shown time and again, that if you want to help industry, the best thing government can do is keep taxes low and regulations light.
Taxing everybody so that a chosen few can receive a tax break never works economically.


Agreed, in a perfect world that would be great. But the world is imperfect and some enterprising individuals come up with great ideas banks wont help with because they are too risky or not within their lending criteria, or even, the product just isn’t sexy enough. I am one of those guys. I spent £100K developing a novel manufacturing process for an existing product with numerous benefits over the single dominant European manufacturer, in a £100M market, with no cost implication. Not sexy at all, in fact really boring when lined up against iPhone apps etc. But the banks and the government paid lip service to lending/funding for manufacturing, instead, focussing on iPhone apps. All I needed was a loan for £250K to end up with, modestly, a company turning over £10M – £20M with healthy profits. Seven years after starting, I had to shelve the whole thing. Just the employment alone would have justified a government loan (I wasn’t looking for a handout) never mind the tax brought onshore.
So is a government ‘leg up’ justified? Yes, in some cases I believe they are. But no one want’s manufacturing any more, not even advanced composites.


A tax break is just someone keeping the money they have earned, it is not a transfer and does not require someone else to pay more in taxes. This is how enviromentalists have been able to get away for so long with saying that the oil industy is subsidized to the amount of $X billion a year. A tax not levied is not a gift.


Good point. I would also add that there is a return expected for tax breaks, be it, for example, employment, or increased revenue to the government from the business granted the tax break.


“does not require someone else to pay more in taxes”


I think GE should mitigate the investment by hanging a fan and generator on existing edifices. Like the statue of Liberty, or Mt Rushmore or the Empire State building.

A tax break is just someone keeping the money they have earned, it is not a transfer and does not require someone else to pay more in taxes. This is how enviromentalists have been able to get away for so long with saying that the oil industy is subsidized to the amount of $X billion a year. A tax not levied is not a gift.
that is so hopelessly incorrect I can’t even stand it. The rest of the money stolen from the the rest of the pool has to make up that “gift”. On what planet could you possibly think it works any different?


HotScott, what makes you believe that politicians are better able to spot a winning invention than bankers are?
At least the bankers are risking their own money.
Having politicians try to pick winners and losers is a fools game. You may win once in a while, but in the long wrong, you lose your shirt.


Bankers never use their own money, they use savers deposits.
Support from a government is no less dependent on a credible business plan than it is for a bank.
Government investment disasters have invariably been politically motivated rather than financially expedient.
The current idiotic drive for renewables is a case in point. Neither scientifically nor financially expedient, simply driven by political dogma and a groundswell of public support, based on imagined future catastrophes that appear nowhere other than in Hollywood movies.


They are responsible for it, and if the bank loses money, they will be held responsible.
All political decisions are politically motivated.
There is no evidence that politicians are better at picking winners and losers than are bankers and much that they are worse.


We are still paying for the banks irresponsibility in the UK!
“picking winners and losers” is a nonsensical term. No one sticks a pin in a board to pick either, they are chosen on merit, or in the case of climate change, political influence. There is a distinct difference.
One is judged on sound business foundations. The other on political influence which, by it’s nature, excludes free market enterprise and business planning, because it must, otherwise it wouldn’t be classed as a political decision but a business one, and the left despise business, so no votes there.
However, couch business initiatives in political shrewdness and the case is passed, except that it’s corrupted by politics and is therefore useless as a business concept.


Will the customers receive CHEAPER power? If not, then shove off with this high maintenance boondoggle. Methinks that “bigger” only provides an advantage in marketing … as to actual efficiency … well … “your results may vary”.


Aeroplanes, implants and beer!


The worry is that considering extreme weather is supposed to be more frequent/extreme/widespread (however you care to put it) then either the people involved in this turbine don’t believe the hysterics, or they don’t care.
I suspect it’s the former as that’s a lot of money to risk.


How much more money to get 45% more?….they could just build two of the other ones..and get 100% more


Footprint matters, you want to capture as much energy as possible in a limited physical space.

Thomas Homer

Chris: “Footprint matters”
Exactly, and since both wind and solar energy production are each a function of earth’s surface area, they are each unscalable.


How far apart these things have to be from each other in order to maintain peak efficiency is based on rotor length.


I’d buy one, just as long as the taxpayers pay for it and it includes the mini-bar and live entertainment.
Wouldn’t even have to twist my arm.


No-way they get a 63 % a true capacity factor. CFs are fake with most renewables. Nobody is referring to the CF as the average number of 20 years or the whatever the useful life of the contraption will be, not just the best month or best year. All renewables consume electricity, same also natural gas, during the “wrong” wind, maintenance, repairs, etc. Greenees do not subtracts that power (or energy) from the amount delivered to the grid power. Furthermore, the CF is usually heralded as the one at the best month, or year, etc. Only the life-long CF matters. Lets hear about this one in 20 years. My guess – 25 % net.
Remember, the CF is simply a ratio of the generator capacity to its actually producing power. Not efficiency. Small generator = higher CF. More powerful generator = smaller CF. Both outputs (watts) the same, but not their CFs.


I wondered about the 63% capacity factor also. If GE really believes this number, it should be written into the contract to purchase this Wind Generator.

Dennis Sandberg

CF 45% is BS, 1/2 of that in the real world is more likely, but the bigger issue is it’s non-dispatchable. That majority of the time that the turbine isn’t available includes those cold calm nights with no wind (or solar).


Capacity Factor is just another obfuscation term used by the renewable industry to hoodwink the public. Measuring energy output in “Number of Homes” is another. Neither has meaning unless defined. A capacity factor of 65%? … 65% of what?. I assume that it refers to the useful wind velocity window somehow; but how is that defined? It certainly does NOT refer to the actual output to plated output, which tends to be around 25%.
This is the nub of the matter as at around this 25% some 75% of Homes will be without electricity most of the time unless good old fossils rides to the rescue.
But even that statement can be challenged as all the definitions and assumptions have been mucked up by the green blob, leading to a great deal of wasted neural energy and computer generated CO2.


12 MW for $400 million!! That is outrageous. In industrial or utility terms 12MW is not very big (in fact it is very small). And to spend that kind of money is unforgiveable even if it is for a “righteous” cause.

I believe that $400M is their development cost to first unit delivered. Once amortized, it would be quite a bit less per unit.
Of course, that is assuming it is amortizable. That only works when you do actually sell production units. The market for these white elephants is dying – even in the most “green” European socialist oligarchies.
GE is a very bad bet for “hold” investment, much worse for “buy.” Their political cronies are losing office left and right, and apparently they are not investing in new politicians very well.


Well stated Writing. The same could be said about IBM. Maybe these 2 titans can create a blockchain powered windmill 🙂


GE’s share price is catastrophic – back where it was 9 years ago.

$400M to develop it? That’s chesp!

$400M to develop it? That’s chesp!


12 MW at 67% efficency factor for $400 million equates to a build price of $80 billion for a 1600Mw coal fired power station.


How much wind will it take to actually turn the thing?


The amount of inertia that needs to be overcome to get it started moving would be quite large. They might have to put a starter motor on it to get it up to a speed where the wind can take over.


Imagine just how powerful the brakes would need to be to stop it in the event of a gale.

Sweet Old Bob

Gonna have huge stresses …..wind speed diff top to bottom may be huge …
IF they build it ….gonna be fun to watch ….kinda like SA …


“The Haliade-X 12 MW also features a 63% capacity factor*—five to seven points above industry standard.”
The bigger the wind mill, the more the wind blows. I didn’t know that before.


…Based on a 750 MW windfarm and an estimated AEP, the Haliade-X 12 MW could produce enough power for up to 1 million households.”
First things first… power my toaster with no more than a 2% price increase and you’re golden.
Try for any more than that, and there WILL be an uprising.
It is called the VOTE.


Hmmm. Bird kills. Lots of them. But not wind mills.


Yes. Cats kill raptors, migratory birds and bats. Whatever.

Mike McMillan

The cull the weak and inattentive, improving the species.


You may be correct, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the bird deaths are 1/10 or even 1/100 of those numbers.
Who’s gonna argue with a birder ?, there is no upside.
As an amateur birder, I know for a fact that birds do not just lose control and fly into stuff (generally), in fact they have the spatial awareness to put a branch between themselves and the viewer when they alight.
Some birds you can’t get within 100 feet of, others are really curious and will come close if you’re calm and unthreatening.
Where was I going with this ??
Now I remember, birds might outlive the cockroaches.


Actually large birds do fly into wind turbines fairly frequently. No, they don’t lose control, but they don’t have an instinct to watch out for large objects coming in fast sideways, because there is no such thing in nature.


Yes, tty, it’s like the squirrel zig-zagging down the road in front of my car, but not smart enough to simply go at a right angle.

Just two days ago, I saw a mockingbird in the road trying to pick up something such as a worm. A car came up, and the mockingbird tried to fly away, but flew right into the lower bumper and tire, and was killed. Very sad.

Richard Patton

“Highly Uncertain” I.e. a wild guess.


“Highly Uncertain” I.e. a wild guess.
If I may: –
“Highly Uncertain” I.e. a wild guess, after a lo-o-o-ng night on the beer.
[Other beverages are available, including cheap French wine . . . . . . . ]


How can a stationary object like a communication tower kill birds? Do they fly into them at night? If so one would think they would fly into trees too. And how can they be electrocuted on power lines without being grounded? Touching other birds perhaps? More importantly, all of these except windmills (and possibly some feral cats) serve a clear purpose that has been freely chosen int he free market, not imposed based on a scam.

Bryan A

Once again…it’s called Exposure Level.
Power line electrocution…vs how many millions of miles of power lines?
Automobiles…vs how many (billion) automobiles worldwide? (806M in 2007 and 1.28B in 2015)
Cats…vs how many hundreds of millions of cats? (600M)
Building glass strikes…vs how many hundreds of billions of building windows? (The Burj Khalifa alone has 24,000 Windows with a combined area of 120,000 m2, one building, New York City is estimated to have between 10 and 12 million Windows in that city…One city)
Wind turbines…At the end of 2011 there were around 200,000 operating wind turbines worldwide. So your figure equates to 1-2 birds per turbine per year and minimum 2+ bats per turbine per year.
Power Lines…I work for the local electric co. reporting outages, with 170,000 miles of wire and just over 400 confirmed bird kill outages per year.
Cars…Not every car is guaranteed to have a bird strike per year. I’ve had 12 cars and 2 trucks for deliveries driving more than 850,000 miles combined since 1979 and have yet to hit a bird.
Cats…I’ve had 7 cats since I was born with numerous confirmed kills of mice and rats but no birds.
Altamont pass wind farm 4700 wind turbines and more than 4600 annual confirmed bird kills including Raptors and Eagles.
Every Wind Turbine is a guaranteed bird killer each and every year.

Doug MacKenzie

A good number for wind turbine kills is about 4 birds per day per wind turbine. You gotta include the little sparrows per day along with the couple of eagles per year. Any lower number is easily proven wishful thinking merely by sitting in a lawn chair near one for a day, or visiting the drifts of dead birds in the hills above Palm Springs. So 200,000 operating turbines times 4 times 365 days equals about 300 million bird deaths per year.

Bryan A

Exposure dude, your estimate of wind turbine related bird kills is equal to the estimate of wind turbines worldwide…Wind turbine/bird kill ratio = 1/1 and possibly 2/1 per year


1500 ducks die in a one-time incident in an oil sands pond and it’s an international outrage. But a couple million birds every year killed by wind turbines is just fine to environmentalists.

“reallyskeptical May 10, 2018 at 6:39 pm
Hmmm. Bird kills. Lots of them. But not wind mills.”

Pure duplicity, reallynotskeptical!
Cite a prejudiced CAGW dependent site.
Post an nonsense graphic that compiles weak surveys with massive extrapolations often performed by students and amateurs.
Imply the graphic proves wind turbines do not kill birds.
All lies and specious claims.

“I estimated 888,000 bat and 573,000 bird fatalities/year (including 83,000 raptor fatalities) at 51,630 megawatt (MW) of installed wind‐energy capacity in the United States in 2012″


reallyClueless demonstrates once again how to lie with numbers.
First off, compare the number of buildings or cars, to the number of windmills. If there were as many windmills as there were cars, how many birds would they kill.
Secondly, where is he getting these numbers from? I know of no survey that has attempted to count the number of birds killed by automobiles. From my own extensive driving experience, hundreds of thousands of miles over 40 years, and only one bird hit during that time, I call BS on his numbers.


Offshore location and height (size) are both good for capacity factor, but are they enough for 63%? And how well will it hold up in a passing hurricane?

Lance of BC

Pleeeease build it.. what could possibly go wrong?! 😛


At least it’s offshore….


Does nothing to change the fact that wind cannot be relied on for energy. If you have to rely on fossil fuels, hydro, or nuclear to provide base load you are just pissing in the wind. You can make them as big as Mt. Everest and they won’t supply lthe energy as needed.


Before long it’ll just be an empty statue

M Montgomery

$400m marketing expense is about right for a GE type. Any subsidy backstory?

Increasingly competitive environment…
Hmm, is that a swipe at their loss of subsidies, exposing these projects to market forces?
Makes me wonder; they model wind loading forces. Do they model market forces?

Warren Blair

GE likely won’t make a profit from selling this beast; however, GE love maintenance contracts which give them the opportunity to rip clients mercilessly on decade(s) long contracts.
And well I never the X will lower the cost of renewable energy . . .
Not likely!

You can increase the size all you want, but wind remains an uncontrollable power generator.The technology belongs back with Don Quixote. The real issue isn’t whether this windmill is a bit more efficient than others., but whether that increased efficiency is justified by the increased cost.
As we have learned, for windmills to just produce power to keep up with increased yearly power consumption, it would require an additional 350,000 windmills every year, requiring land the size of the British isles. Windmills have an enormous environmental footprint are is really a stupi an costly way of producing power. The larger the percentage of wind power, the larger the amount of duplicative reliable generating capacity is required. The costs are enormous.


There is already evidence that wind speed is slowing worldwide – one wonders what will be the effect on rain and weather in general nearby and for the planet.


What will be the bird kill? What will be the other disruptions?


Even if it did manage the stated CF, according to my calcs, for 16,000 households, that’s only 11kWh/day. I would be surprised if that’s sufficient for European houses.

Nigel S

Average annual UK domestic electricity consumption is 3,850kWh per home but most homes are heated by natural gas which adds another 15,250kWh annualy per home. This is the usual trick the subsidy farmers use. 12MW at 67% capacity factor equals 18,300 UK homes for electricity only but 3,700 for all power. Of course 67% is wildly optimistic and the true figures are probably a half to a third. Costs to the grid for dealing with all the intermittent, distributed, micro generators are also huge of course. The beautiful countryside southeast of me is being desecrated by more huge pylons to trade electricity with Belgium.


Energy GE will invest more than 400 million US taxpayer dollars.
There, fixed it.

J Mac

12 Megawatts… and it still won’t power a DeLorean time machine.

The amount of insanity this website manages to scrape together in one place is absolutely astonishing.
Even a 260 meter QLav wouldn’t top this monstrosity.


The artificial “green” blight is ecologically unfriendly, mission unreliable, and long-term unsustainable. Still, it is a niche solution, with progressive (i.e. monotonic) profit potential.

peanut gallery

Kiss those albatross goodbye.

A giant elephant (white elephant – if they know what that means)…I assume they don’t.

It looks like electricity rates are going to “skyrocket” again…just too bad…

Stephen Richards

the blades sweep an area of 9.5 acres or 4 hectares. The bearing technology must be spectacular and the blades built with stunning strut support internally. All that to generate about 20% of the boilerplate spec.

Peta of Newark

I’m trying to get my head around this ‘capacity factor’ thing – it smoke and mirror,
As best I can see its similar to how methane (for instance) has 100 times (or whatever) the greenhouse warming effect of CO2.
I think that what they’ve done is use the figure for windspeed at a certain height to calculate the power the thing can produce.
By simple virtue of wind shear, taller turbines make more power and seemingly ramps up the claimed Capacity Factor. It’s not actually any great improvement on the design/manufacture/materials. It is complete bollox.
If they simply jacked up an existing small turbine at the same site they’re putting these (the North Sea as best I can tell) it would achieve the increased Capacity Factor
Why do they (need) to do that. Not dissimilar to the solar panel (PV and thermal) salesmen being fast & loose with their energy and financial predictions.
It stinks.
For these things (offshore) – is not the bird (raptor) killing part all rather academic and (I’m sorry) an excuse by some to ‘start a fight’ and create aggro just for the sake of it?
Or out of ‘fashion’ and political correctness and making out how ‘caring’ you are?
Do eagles, hawks, buzzards etc really venture 10, 15 and 20+ miles out to sea? What’s there for them?
As for seagulls = Aerial Rats that take out the less common (wonder why) seabirds – not least puffins and kittiwakes in the North Sea
In any case, me personally am a supporter/carer of the small birds – sparrows, finches, thrushes etc etc. To the tune of 3kg+ per day of mixed wild-bird-seed.
And this in a place where I’m surrounded by huge fields & farms growing wheat & barley.
I would rather have a few of the little songbirds in my garden to wake me up of a morning than to find a little pile of feathers amid silence – interspersed by a pair of buzzards riding thermals & ridges half a mile away and making noises like tiny human baby being tortured.
YMMV – try to ensure its not varying out of some sense of Big Willyism
Remember, none of it is impressing The Modern & Contemporary Female.
Must try harder.
ha ha

Leo Smith

The original ‘capacity factor’ was a figure of quality – how many hours a plant could run compared to its downtime for maintenance. That was then renamed ‘availability’
The concept was then extended to be a measure of how many hours the plant DID run, and at what power output, versus its 24×7 ‘nameplate’ capacity, as a measure of income against capital expenditure.
Then the concept was mangled by renewable energy – which always runs flat out – to be the amount of energy the plant produced compared to its nameplate capacity, which is a completely arbitrary number. This was in fact a measure of the availability of the renewable energy source.
IN this case the concept is meaningless. Average capacity factor of UK offshore is < 40%. The same turbines in Germany fare far worse.
All I can conjecture is that this thing is so huge that it both gets itself above the boundary layer, improving wind capture, an is deliberately built for low wind speeds, which predominate, so that its actual 'nameplate capacity is far less than is justified by the rotor swept area and the Betz limit and the peak wind speed.
Such a turbine will produce the same or more in light airs, but cannot handle gales so will presumably be switched off
i.e the artificially reduced 'nameplate capacity' allows them to generate a completely spurious 'capacity factor'.
The same trick has been played with UK FITS where hydro power stations and wind turbines are deliberately 'de-rated' to render them deserving of a higher rate of subsidy
Renewable propaganda makes me quite sick sometimes

Carl Friis-Hansen

“One Haliade-X 12 MW can generate enough clean power to supply 16,000 European households according to wind conditions on a typical German North Sea site.”
I would like to do my own calculations regarding number of households.
I had difficulties finding a reliable source for European household consumption, so I decided to take the numbers from France according to CIA’s World Fact Book.
France consumption: 436 TWh (436 * 10^12 Wh)
France avg. load: 436 * 10^12 / 365 / 24 = 48 GW
France population: 67 million (67 * 10^6 people)
France load per capita: 48 GW / 67 M = 716 W per capita
Assuming 2.5 parsons per household:
France households: 67 M / 2.5 = 30 M households
France load per household: 1.6 kW
GE 12MW turbine CF 63% = 7.56 MW avg. supply
GE 12MW supply amount households = 7.56 MW / 1.6 kW = 4725 households
Deviation between GE’s and my calculation: 16000 / 4725 * 100 = 339 %
As I see it, they claim to supply over three times more households than I would estimate.
Granted, in my calculations, the industry, offices, etc. are included in my numbers.
However, I still think their 16000 household numbers are deceptive.
Adding to that, they do not mention what amount of backup capacity installation is needed, and how this is financed.

Maybe they figured the Bay of Bengal for the installation?


Must be a lot of clergy in France if there are two and half parsons per household. Or it was a typo, but I prefer the former interpretation. 😉

Leo Smith

The capacity factor is not a function of the turbine. It is a function of the wind.
That fact alone makes me deeply sceptical of all the information presented here.
It is not clear to what the blurb is referring, but then its marketing propaganda, so who knows?

Dave Ward

Given that bearing failure on much smaller machines is already a problem, how on earth will they cope with the loads involved in supporting this massive rotor and generator?

Robert in Busan

China installed 300 GW of supercritical coal between 2005 and 2013 (3000 days). I consider this the greatest industrial achievement in history. Compare that to 90 GW wind (30 GW after capacity factor applied) in 4400 days for WORLDWIDE wind industry. Doesn’t strike me as a green revolution.

Thomas Graney

More echos from the mindless echo chamber by people who oppose something not for what it is, but because of who supports it. When you get to that point, you’ve turned control of your mind over to people who you intensely dislike. Strange, isn’t it.


Yes, you are.


In other words; you can’t refute anything said, but since your paycheck depends on you posting something, you are going to pretend that you are above it all and just insult those who don’t worship as you do.


Something that only puts out 12 MWs but has to be the size of the freaking Eiffel Tower? A lash-up of four modern 4400 hp locomotives puts out more power than that, can do it any time wind or not, & only takes up a tiny fraction of the space.

Thomas Graney

How much diesel fuel are you burning? What does that cost? What’s the initial cost of the locomotive? What’s the maintenance cost? All these things have to be taken into account.Same for the windmill.


A new, modern 4400 HP AC (alternating current) locomotive costs around $1.7 million — rebuilt one about half as much. So four new ones cost ~$6.8 million & generates 13.1 MW. Compare that to $400 million — 58 times(!) that of the diesels. I don’t know if the pin-wheel cost includes installation out in the water, with underwater power lines connecting it to a distribution station somewhere on land. Plus the capacity factor (they say 68% — hard to believe), but anyway, 12MW x .68 = 8.2 MW, so the initial cost is actually 94 times per MW (and intermittent, unreliable power at that) for the pin-wheel compared to diesels. And then, which do you think are easier to maintain? I’m not going to do everything for you, but I guarantee you can buy ALOT of fuel for a couple hundred million bucks.


A 100Mw coal fired power station generates 89 times as much electricity and only costs 150% more and has a 300% better life span.
One other thing, who pays to dismantle it at the end of its working life?


I’m pretty certain that the $400 million just covers the cost of buying it from GE. Installation and wiring costs are too variable to quote in a general document like this.


Just following up; I was never able to find a cost for the 12 MW turbine, but it’s not the $400 million. That number is what GE says they are going to invest in development and deployment of the X-12. In any case, the cost of power from wind is way cheaper than diesel. Diesel is used when it’s the only option or for emergencies.


How many birds killed per hour? They leave out the important stats


At this scale it requires whole flocks per hour.


‘The Haliade-X 12 MW also features a 63% capacity factor’
Great! But if someone is going to rely on a 12 MW supply, they’ll need a 12 MW backup for this.
12 MW of weather dependent, supplemental power seems useless.

Funny how the military is evil for using sonar sounds to protect America’s coast lines with no alternative available, but the wind industry will be sending out these destructive low frequency sounds when there are plenty of alternatives that are far superior.

Since Anthony made this into a post of an article I emailed him, I am lifting my self-imposed boycott of WUWT. As Andrew Breitbart stated so eloquently, “Walk toward the fire. Don’t worry about what they call you. All those things are said against you because they want to stop you in your tracks. But if you keep going, you’re sending a message to people who are rooting for you, who are agreeing with you. The message is that they can do it, too.”
Re economics of EU offshore wind farms; “… winning bid prices have declined from approximately
$200/megawatt-hour, for projects with a commercial operation date between 2017 and 2019
down to about $65/megawatt-hour for projects, with a 2024/2025 commercial operation date.” — US DOE 2016 Offshore Wind Technologies Market Report, p. v.
Re wind turbines requiring grid power when not generating, this is not dissimilar to conventional power plants when they are offline. Nuclear plants require many MW just to keep radioactive things from melting down. In particular, the cooling water pumps need to keep running.
Re offshore wind turbines and hurricane-force winds; as I wrote recently to Anthony, the 6 MW turbines offshore the US Rhode Island did just fine in high winds. The DOE wrote: “[America’s] first offshore wind farm [performed as expected] when winter storm Stella rolled through in March. All five turbines [at Block Island] were operating at full capacity (30 megawatts), except for a brief window of several hours when wind speeds exceeded 55 mph.
Although this was not a hurricane, it does demonstrate the shutdown process. The wind farm sustained wind speeds higher than 70 mph during the automatic shutdown and successfully powered back up to serve Block Island after the winds diminished.”
The Block Island wind farm also performed as expected during the stronger winds of Hurricane Jose in September 2017.
The EU offshore environment also has occasional hurricanes, and the Hywind floating windfarm performed as expected: “Hywind Scotland’s first encounter with harsh weather conditions was the hurricane Ophelia in October (2017) when wind speed of 125 kilometers per hour (80mph) were recorded. These wind speeds were surpassed during Storm Caroline in early December when gusts in excess of 160 km/h (100 mph) and waves in excess of 8,2 meters were recorded. Whilst the wind turbines shut down for safety reasons during the worst of these winds, they automatically resumed operation promptly afterwards.”
Re bird deaths, all the candidate offshore turbine locations are studied carefully, and bird prevalence is a factor in discarding certain sites.
Despite the many (and comical) nay-sayers at WUWT, offshore wind is a fast-growing business around the world where the wind is sufficient. GE’s 12 MW turbine is not the ultimate, merely the largest today. Sandia Labs has a design for a 50 MW turbine; that will soon be in operation. Electricity prices from such a turbine, given economy of scale, will likely be 2-3 cents per kWh. Or less.


“Electricity prices from such a turbine, given economy of scale, will likely be 2-3 cents per kWh. Or less.”
And the cost of the backup is? Since the fixed cost of the backup accrues regardless of use, it’s cost must be added to the cost of the windmill.
At which point you realize the windmill is superfluous. It doesn’t replace other generation capacity. It is at best supplemental. For a system that doesn’t need a supplement.

To Gamecock, re yours at May 11, 2018 at 11:02 am
The backup gambit is raised by you. “And the cost of the backup is? Since the fixed cost of the backup accrues regardless of use, it’s cost must be added to the cost of the windmill.”
The simplest way to understand how wind energy works is to consider two people riding a bicycle built for two. The person in front represents the gas-fired power plants, and the person in back represents the wind turbine system. The goal is to maintain a steady speed for the bicycle.
When the wind does not blow, the person in front must do all the work to move the bicycle because the person in back stops pedaling.
But, when the person in back begins to pedal, the one in front can ease off and not work so hard.
In the grid context, gas-fired, very efficient cogeneration plants serve as the power source that balances the grid when wind output fluctuates. That means less fuel is consumed when the wind blows. As can be seen by examining the wind annual statistics, the wind turbine output is typically 30-45 percent on an annual basis. That means the gas-fired plants can loaf, can use less fuel, to that extent.
What is also important is that wind power is now cheaper, in many locations, than the gas-fired power it replaces. Even when the gas-fired plants have their fixed costs amortized over a smaller amount of electrons produced, the consumer wins.
The broader benefit, as I wrote long ago, is that a lower demand for natural gas has lower price for natural gas, with enormous trickle-down benefits across the economy.
Wind power is the wave of the future, as all the major players understand.


@ Roger Sowell,
Wind power ??
Who’s gonna build those expensive turbines in a country that is ruled by gangs with machetes ?
They would be stripped of any precious metals within a week.
Count your blessings.


Roger, nothing you said contradicts anything that Gamecock wrote. You still need to pay for twice the generating capacity, and the fossil fuel one can’t be run in it’s most economical mode.

For MarkW re yours on May 11, 2018 at 3:18 pm
“Roger, nothing you said contradicts anything that Gamecock wrote. You still need to pay for twice the generating capacity, and the fossil fuel one can’t be run in it’s most economical mode.”
Actually, no.
Wind farms are typically built and paid for by private investors, who then sell the electricity to the utility.
The utility pays less for the wind electricity than it costs to generate by other means.
Note that US subsidies are phasing out in a couple of years. Even then, the subsidies are via tax credits, a very small burden spread across 320 million people in the US. The tax credits last only 10 years and are a tiny 2 cents per kWh produced. If the wind doesn’t blow, or the turbine is broken, zero subsidy is paid.
The new installations offshore EU are without subsidies.


Mr. Sowell, you need some finance education. Study fixed cost and variable cost.

For Gamecock re yours at May 12, 2018 at 5:06 pm
“Mr. Sowell, you need some finance education. Study fixed cost and variable cost”
Thanks for the laugh, I’ll pass your expert opinion on to the hundreds of delighted clients in the energy industry for whom I consulted for over the past 4 decades. They will also get a good laugh, at your expense. Meanwhile, they are busy counting the several US$billion in extra profits (not revenues, but profits) that my consulting work afforded them.
The Wall Street corporations that presently pay my consulting fees will also get a big laugh.
The University of California institutions for which I was and am a guest speaker on engineering economics will also raise an eyebrow at the least, and get a laugh probably.
You are a funny person, Gamecock, please, keep ’em coming!!!


Actually, it is an expert opinion. I ran a cost accounting system for a major (DJIA) for 19 years.


“Re wind turbines requiring grid power when not generating, this is not dissimilar to conventional power plants when they are offline.
No it is NOT! It is completely dissimilar!
Conventional fossil fuel generation don’t require a back-up during normal operation! Wind-junk does! Your propaganda fails! ALL the ‘grid ruinables’ require continuous rapidly dispatched back-up. They are an economic and technical millstone around the necks of those that have to balance the grid. Without the MASSIVE subsidy they would naturally die in a real market place. Pathetic, useless junk littering the land and now the seas.
(see )
How do you square your crud about Scotland’s off-shore wind-junk when Germany (the larger off shore wind-junk installer) has so many problems, and is still off-line? (See )
And life expectancy? The break even point for these over-subsidized disastrous junk devices was originally given as 24 years minimum. So where has that been meet? And how much was the maintenance cost to get any to last that long?
Now compare the maintenance cost per actual power output, to that of say a gas or coal fire power station. No contest wind-junk is way more expensive by orders of magnitude.

To tom0mason re yours at May 11, 2018 at 11:40 am
See my reply above re wind turbines requiring backup.
It turns out that ALL power plants require backup; this is known in the industry as Reserve. Some of that is Spinning Reserve, and is required by law. Southern California felt the need for such backup not many years ago when the two nuclear reactors at San Onofre went off-line without warning. Seems they sprang a leak, radioactive steam heated the clear California skies, and 2200 MW of electricity went dark. Quickly.
But, the grid had sufficient spinning reserve to ramp up on short notice to keep the lights on that day. It turns out that aging nuclear power plants go off-line without warning, rather frequently. The spinning reserve is called upon to take up the load every time.
The Scotland Hywind turbines are well-documented to have thrived in adverse conditions, as I wrote clearly above. I have not examined the issues in offshore Germany, so will not comment.
Next, you complain about life expectancy, and some break even point of 24 years originally. Break even for what? Typically, a wind turbine plant investor seeks a 10 percent return on his investment, or will not invest. That is the reason that sales prices for electricity were at $200 per MWh (US 20 cent per kWh) in the early days. However, as turbine sizes increased and output increased with better designs and experience, the latest wind turbine plants give the 10 percent return on investment with 70 to 80 $/MWh, and as I quoted the US DOE above, $65 per MWh for projects that come online in year 2024-2025.
Maintenance costs for offshore run approximately 0.5 to 1 cent per kWh produced, and depend on many factors. Larger turbines with higher capacity factors have lower maintenance costs per kWh sold.
For the actual figures, based on US onshore wind turbines, see my article from 2016:
First-year operating and maintenance is 0.5 to 1 cent per kWh, rising at year 30 to 4-6 cents per kWh. Data is from US DOE “2014 Wind Technologies Market Report.”
I’m told that the EU offshore O&M costs are buried in the capital costs, in which a 20 year maintenance contract is included in the first costs.


Again you come out with BS!
“It turns out that ALL power plants require backup; this is known in the industry as Reserve. ”
But your beloved wind-junk is not reliable. Fossil fuel plants are reliable, just as nuclear is — some run for a very long time before they require maintenance (year or more 24/7), and they do last for decade. Your beloved wind-junk can not predict when it will be available, and has not got the stated longevity. PERIOD. They are a waste of resources. They are not green nor efficient use of materials.
Contrast and compare outages per year for conventional power plants to the hideous outage figure for ruinable sources.
Hidden costs for installing the ruinable junk on the grid system is the extra cost in equipment and monitoring that has installed to try and keep the grid stable. These ruinously unreliable source of infrequent power erode grid stability margins.
“Larger turbines with higher capacity factors have lower maintenance costs per kWh sold.”
Junk statement with no evidence as they have not been running long enough to prove the case. Your figure are short term rubbish, get back to me in 20 years.
The costs have been optimistically modeled not observed over 20+ years for large wind-junk technology.


Fossil fuel plants don’t drop out at the spur of the moment several times a day. Because of this wind power cannot be compared to fossil fuel plants being offline.


It’s easy to grow when you don’t have to pay your own costs.


GE announces monster 12 megawatt wind turbine – works only when the wind blows


If any part of that thing breaks away and lands on my house, GE will foot the bill for all new everything for me. And NONE of it will be electric anything.


Exactly where are they going to install this wonder of engineering. The east coast of the US is out because of the Hurricane threat. See Puerto Rico for results. To make it viable it would have to be within 30 to 40 miles of shore other wise the under sea cable to feed the power to the grid makes it uneconomical. I see this one is direct drive without a gearbox. So what type of bearings are used in this unit. There has been a problem with scaling up wind turbines to above 5.0 MW. The main shaft bearings roller elements were failing at an alarming rate which caused operators to sue the manufactures and the bearing companies. It had to do with the sheer strength of the roller surfaces. If they have gone back to a “sleeve” bearing design then the oil system must be running all the time to prevent damage when the rotor starts to turn. I have seen some windmills using this sleeve bearing design use a lot of power when the wind does not blow to heat and circulate the oil in case the wind starts.

Carl Friis-Hansen

Very good point. In the mid eighties, when I was in R&D in a Danish wind turbine company, we were experimenting with keeping the asynchrone generators engaged with the grid to avoid cold fusion of the bearings. An added plus was that it looked like the turbine produced electricity, although it was drawing from the grid instead. The issue with the bearings get worse when the rotor stops rotating, the turns a few degrees, the stops, etc.

Carl Friis-Hansen

Sorry, not cold fusion – cold welding, sorry.

Non Nomen

Browns Ferry in Alabama has an output of 1000 MW. It requires 83 of this Hubris models to replace it, although that’s nameplate output only. In reality, just to come near to Browns Ferry’s capacity, I guess about 150 of these monsters are needed. What a ghastly sight to see.
I hope that Field Marshal Common-Sense drops by and hits General Electric on the head. Hard.


The monuments to tax credits will stand tall and eventually surpass the tallest man made structures on the planet. Just don’t tell them about the solar wind.