GE Renewable to Open New Offshore Wind Blade Manufacturing Facility in UK

Paris-headquartered General Electric’s renewable energy arm GE Renewable Energy is planning to open a new blade manufacturing facility in Teesside in the North East of England, an ideal location to serve the vast offshore wind potential of the North Sea.

March 18, 2021. By Manu Tayal

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Paris-headquartered General Electric’s renewable energy arm GE Renewable Energy is planning to open a new blade manufacturing facility in Teesside in the North East of England, an ideal location to serve the vast offshore wind potential of the North Sea. 

LM Wind Power has been planning to set up and operate this plant which will produce 107-meter-long offshore wind turbine blades, a key component of GE’s Haliade-X.

However, the company without disclosing much details said the terms of construction and financing of new plant are in advanced stages of negotiation between the interested parties.

The plant is expected to commence production in 2023, and would create up to 750 direct renewable energy jobs and up to 1,500 indirect jobs in the area to support the entire value chain needed to operate this facility.

Commenting on the plan, Jerôme Pécresse, President and CEO of GE Renewable Energy said “this new plant will contribute to the development of an industrial cluster dedicated to offshore wind in the North East of England. We are delighted to announce such a commitment for the renewable energy industry, we believe it will help develop a strong talent pool through the hiring and more importantly training of future colleagues. The UK’s target to commission 40 GW of offshore wind by 2030 is ambitious and requires that we invest in local production capabilities to accompany this effort.”

“GE Renewable Energy’s new blade turbine manufacturing plant will transform a former steelworks site on Teesside into a high-tech clean energy powerhouse, creating thousands of highly-skilled jobs in our UK supply chain. This announcement marks the start of the next generation of offshore wind manufacturing,” said Hugh McNeal, CEO of Renewable UK. 

The Dogger Bank Offshore Wind Farm, which is located between 125 km and 290 km off the east coast of Yorkshire, would benefit directly from the blades produced at this new plant. The three phases of the Dogger Bank Wind Farm, powered by GE’s Haliade-X offshore wind turbine, will have a combined installed generation capacity of 3.6 GW, enough to power six million UK homes. When complete in 2026, it will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm.

The company has already announced an investment of $20 million in R&D and testing activities for its Haliade-X offshore wind platform in the UK.

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