The world's most powerful offshore wind turbine was unveiled on July 12 in Saint-Nazaire

Super Haliade -X-12MW the monster of the seas is a new species, far from endangered, and very welcome news for the French renewable energy sector. The American giant, General Electric Renewable Energy will invest 270 million euros to develop and produce this 12-megawatt turbine in France.


It is still hard to imagine but judging by its nacelle, a machine room larger than a house, the Titan of the sea will be able to rub elbows with Aeolus. When its blade is vertical, it will measure 260 meters, 50 more than the Montparnasse tower and 60 less than the Eiffel tower. Rest assured, Eiffel's giant is firmly grounded on the Champs de Mars and its ability to catch the wind is almost zero with its latticed structure. Quite the contrary of the wind turbine with its blades measuring 107 meters each (a football field!) weighing 50 tons. With its 700-ton turbine, it will produce 67 gigawatts / h covering the electricity needs of 16,000 households (compared with 2,000 for onshore wind turbines).


General Electric has budgeted 325 million euros for a five-year program, 268 of which will be allocated to French sites. Among them, the plant in Saint-Nazaire for the production of the nacelles and LM Wind Power in Cherbourg for the production of the blades. The mast will come from Seville.

The nacelle must first enter a test area to check its operation in its entirety 24 hours a day and then Rotterdam direction for assembly, test and certification. 950 people work today on this extraordinary monster.


France has set its targets upwards in the multiannual energy program (PPE) for marine renewable energies. This energy is expected to represent 15% of the global wind industry in the future. 20% of the energy of the Loire Atlantique will be produced by 80 6-Megawatt wind turbines by 2022. We do not know where these XXL wind turbines will be located in the world. But this energy of the future has a light ecological footprint that should interest the largest wind farms in the world. And they could, in the future, be an integral part of the maritime landscape as the whales that inspired the design of their blades.

Photo: General Electric

Related reading:

- Saint-Nazaire in second place among agglomerations of less than 250,000 inhabitants according to Le Point's ranking

The housing solution in Saint-Nazaire

The Smartappart Saint-Nazaire residential hotel is an economical alternative to hotels. Its furnished and connected apartments, from the double studio to the one-bedroom apartment, offer a convenient formula suited to any type of stay: short, medium or long.

6 - 03/08/2019