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16 MW wind turbine, the world’s largest, now connected to the Chinese grid

The 16MW wind turbine during its installation

Posted on July 24, 2023

The installation of the world’s largest wind turbine has now been completed off the east coast of China making the 16-megawatt turbine operational, China Three Gorges Corporation (CTGC) said in a press release.

As it looks to move away from its carbon-heavy energy consumption, China is deploying a mix of technologies to meet its power demands. Interesting Engineering has previously reported how the country leads the world in building new nuclear reactors but has also developed its solar and hydropower generation facilities to be the largest in scale.

Now, the wind-based renewable energy industry in the country also has an achievement to boast about as China is currently home to the largest wind turbine in the world.

The 16 MW wind turbine

CTGC teamed up with the Goldwind Science and Technology company to build the 16 MW turbine. The hub of the turbine stands at a height of nearly 500 feet (152 m). The view from the hub would match that from the top of a 52-story building, except that the turbine has been installed in the Taiwan Strait, 20 miles (32.8 km) off the coast of Fujian in China’s southeast.

The blades of the turbine have a diameter of 827 feet (252 m) and sweep an area of over 500,000 square feet (50,000 sq m), the size of seven international-level soccer fields put together. Now that the turbine is connected to the grid, a single revolution of the blades will feed in 34.2 kWh of energy.

The turbine has been installed in an area that experiences level 7 winds. In layman’s terms, these would be considered “near gale” conditions and exceed 32 miles (51 km) an hour speeds on most days of the year.

The 16 MW turbine being installed in Taiwan Strait

When operated for a year, the turbine can generate 66GWh of carbon-free electricity, which can power 36,000 households. Additionally, it would prevent the use of 20,000 tonnes of coal and the release of 54,000 tonnes of carbon.

A major push for the wind industry

The record-setting energy generation capacity of the wind turbine is a major boost for the renewable energy industry in China. However, it also presents an opportunity to face new challenges and work on overcoming them.

The Taiwan Strait is an area that is also prone to typhoons, so the world’s biggest wind turbine will also face some of the strongest winds on the planet and needs to demonstrate that it is not just big but also tough enough to brave them.

CTGC and Goldwind were surely aware of these challenges and the turbine is built to withstand much more than the highest ever recorded wind speeds in the region. However, as we have seen in recent years, nature has its own way showcase its fury and one wouldn’t be surprised if wind speeds exceeded the design specifications too.

The wind industry in China is also braving a newer and bigger challenge and has embarked on building an 18 MW wind turbine. It might not be very long before we are writing about the successful installation of a larger turbine capable of powering 40,000 homes every year.


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