World's first 16MW wind turbine installed in E China

The world's first 16-megawatt offshore wind turbine was successfully installed in southeast China's Fujian Province on Wednesday. 

The turbine, about 35 kilometers away from the shoreline, boasts the world's largest per-unit capacity. At full wind speed, the wind turbine can generate 34.2 kWh of power after rotating a full turn. 

Its annual power output, which is estimated to average over 66 million kWh, can meet the annual demand of 36,000 families of three, save 22,000 tonnes of standard coal, and reduce 54,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide. 

Due to the turbine's size, the installation process posed significant challenges. Additionally, the wind-exposed surface area of the turbine increases with each added blade. As a result, according to the project manager, the third blade had to be installed without interruption to ensure the overall stability of the structure. 

"(Prior to the installation of the blades) the wind-exposed surface area of the tower barrel and cabin is relatively small and stable. As additional blades are installed, the wind-exposed surface area increases, resulting in an asymmetrical structure from a force perspective after the first two blades are added," said Cheng Xiping, project manager of the offshore wind plant under the China Railway Major Bridge Engineering Group Co., Ltd. 

"Therefore, the wind turbine structure will only achieve its most stable state once all three blades are installed," Cheng added.

The successful installation and application of the wind turbine is an important milestone for the development of China's offshore wind power industry to far-reaching offshore innovation, said Lei Zengjuan, executive director of the Fujian Branch of China Three Gorges Corporation. 

He said the significance of the turbine is reflected in the improvement of single-machine power generation capacity, the improvement of efficiency of China's offshore wind power construction, and the reduction of the cost of electricity. 

"More importantly, it realizes the core technology breakthrough of China's offshore wind power industry chain and the industrialization and localization of the country's offshore wind power equipment manufacturing, and further promotes the sustainable development of China's offshore wind power industry," Lei said.

After the completion of the installation, the turbine will enter the commissioning and test phase, and it's expected to be connected to the grid in early July.

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