Alstom Installs World’s Largest Offshore Wind Turbine

French energy company Alstom has successfully completed installing the world’s largest offshore wind turbine, the 6 MW Haliade 150, at the Belwind test site off the coast of Belgium.
Engineered to endure harsh North Sea conditions, the Haliade 150 is the biggest wind turbine ever erected at sea. With a rotor diameter of 150-metres and blades nearly 75-metres long, Alstom predicts each model will provide a 15 percent higher energy yield than other wind turbines – enabling a single unit to power up to 5000 households.
Touted as the new generation in offshore turbine technology, the Haliade 150’s nacelle (engine housing) looms 100-metres above sea level and is designed to operate with a minimum of upkeep. The turbine functions without a gearbox, instead relying on direct drive, and a magnetic alternator system transfers unwanted stresses from strong winds away to the tower, optimising efficiency.
The 1,500-ton Haliade 150 was installed at the Belwind site by assembling a 61-metre jacket on top of pillars sunk into the seabed 60-metres below. Then a 78-metre tower was erected to support the blades. Now engineers are waiting to discover if the turbine reaches its expected power curve.
The Belwind wind power plant will provide the perfect test bed for the massive 6 MW turbine. Located in the North Sea, widely regarded as the centre of Europe’s wind power sector, Belwind leases ocean space, as well as transmission lines and grid connection capability to companies like Alstom seeking to bring new renewable energy tech to market.
“This project with Belwind asserts our technological leadership and our innovative abilities. The installation of our turbine which is simple, robust and efficient thus contributing in boosting the competitiveness of offshore wind energy,” stated Alstom Wind Senior Vice-President Alfonso Faubel. 
“Belwind’s tried and tested expertise in completing offshore projects and setting up wind farms has helped Alstom to perform the installation work in sea waters under the best possible conditions. We are convinced that Alstom’s innovative wind energy technology will contribute in providing one of the future solutions to ensure clean, reliable and efficient energy,” said Belwind chairman Wim Biesemans.