Industrial giant General Electric is investing in wind power, hoping its offshore products can soon rival the might of its onshore sector.
In Massachusetts this week, it received a 351-foot blade that will be part of the Haliade-X windmill, what it is calling the most powerful offshore wind turbine in the world. The blades will undergo fatigue tests over the coming months.
The company will invest $400 million in the development and deployment of the Haliade-X windmill, which is designed to generate more power at low wind speeds, over the next three to five years. Each unit will be able to power 5,000 homes. It is expected to be commercially available in 2021.
GE is betting on the forecast that offshore wind is expected to make up 15 percent of the total wind industry within 6 years.
As reported by the Boston Globe, on Tuesday, CEO Larry Culp attended his first local public political event, at a wind-testing center in Massachusetts, to show off the new product.
Offshore wind typically refers to electricity generated by wind over open water, like an ocean. Onshore wind turbines are located on land.
As noted by the Boston Globe, GE’s onshore wind business is among the top in the world, though the company is committed to making its offshore wind segment more competitive.
On Wednesday, GE announced a deal to build a 715 Megawatt wind farm in China – its largest ever wind order in Asia. GE will provide turbines and steel towers to the farm, which will be developed by China Huaneng – one of the largest state-owned power generation companies in China.
The wind farm is expected to be able to power the equivalent of 500,000 homes.
Meanwhile, the company is in the midst of a turnaround after shares lost more than half of their value amid myriad challenges in 2018.
GE reported strong third-quarter results last week and raised its outlook for the remainder of the year.
President Trump is no fan of wind turbines. He has said on multiple occasions that a windmill near a property decreases its value substantially. He has also said they kill birds and cause cancer.
FOX Business’ Jonathan Garber contributed to this report.