China’s MingYang Smart Energy Develops Giant 16MW Offshore Wind Turbine, Surpasses GE

China’s MingYang Smart Energy has announced an offshore wind turbine even bigger than GE’s Haliade-X, making it the biggest offshore wind turbine in the world. The MySE 16.0-242 has a capacity of 16MW, is 242 metres tall and is capable of powering 20,000 homes per unit

A visualisation of MingYang Smart Energy's MySE 16.0-242, the world's biggest offshore wind turbine. Credit: MingYang website

A visualisation of MingYang Smart Energy’s MySE 16.0-242, the world’s biggest offshore wind turbine. Credit: MingYang website

China’s MingYang Smart Energy has announced an offshore wind turbine even bigger than GE’s Haliade-X, making it the biggest offshore wind turbine in the world. The MySE 16.0-242 has a capacity of 16MW, is 242 metres tall and is capable of powering 20,000 homes per unit over a service life of 25 years.

MingYang’s new turbine will be launched in the form of a prototype next year. The company reports that its three blades, which measure 118 metres will sweep a massive area of 4,95,140 square feet, an area bigger than six football fields. Every year, a single turbine is expected to generate 80GWh of electricity. In comparison to MingYang’s earlier turbine, the MySE 11.0-203, this will generate 45% more energy. The company has been able to achieve this by increasing the diameter of the turbine by 19%. The message seems to be clear: economic viability can be achieved by building larger and larger turbines.

It is hoped that these behemoths will contribute to a drop in offshore wind energy production prices. Currently, the industry is struggling to achieve financial viability. According to the US Energy Information Administration, offshore wind is the most expensive way of generating a megawatt-hour of renewable energy right now. One MWh of energy produced by offshore wind costs €102.15. In comparison, the same amount of energy produced by coal costs €61.68 and (standalone) solar, €27.78 before subsidies. Assuming these giant turbines become an industry norm, energy experts predict that the cost of offshore wind will drop by between 37-49% by 2050.

According to MingYang, the MySE 16.0-242 is the start of its new 15MW+ offshore product platform. Interestingly, the turbine is capable of operating both when installed to the sea floor and on a floating base. The full prototype will be built in 2022 and will begin operations by 2023. Commercial production is slated to begin in the first half of 2024.