August 11, 2020

Volume X, Number 224

August 11, 2020

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August 10, 2020

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Offshore Wind Turbine Blade Set to Be Tested in Boston

On November 5, 2019, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and GE Renewable Energy together announced the arrival of a powerful offshore wind turbine blade in Boston. Measuring 107 meters in length, the blade belongs to GE’s cutting-edge Haliade-X 12 MW turbine, largely considered the most efficient model available among today’s ocean-based wind platforms. The blade was transported overseas from Europe and brought to MassCEC’s Wind Technology Testing Center (WTTC), where it is expected to undergo extensive testing for the next several months.

Wind turbines have become larger in recent years due to advancements in technology. As “the world’s largest and most powerful offshore wind turbine,” the Haliade-X stands at an impressive 260 meters tall and features a 220-meter rotor. The increase in size will enable the Haliade-X 12 MW turbines to generate greater overall power, especially in low wind speeds. The turbines are capable of producing nearly 45 percent more energy than other turbines, generating a gross annual energy production of 67 GWh. Once installed, the Haliade-X 12 MW turbine is predicted to power about 5000 American households and create billions in US economic development.

MassCEC’s Wind Technology Testing Center offers a series of tests for large turbine blades, in addition to prototype development and support for innovative wind turbine technologies. While GE is testing several other Haliade-X components in locations across Europe, the WTTC is the only facility capable of testing such a large turbine here in the United States. Turbines must meet designated international standards to receive full certification for design, reliability and operation. The Boston-based WTTC will conduct fatigue tests on the Haliade-X blade to ensure the turbines can remain in operation for up to twenty-five years at sea.

The process marks an important step in the commercialization of GE’s Haliade-X 12 MW wind turbine. Danish wind developer Ørsted is one of several companies to select the model for substantial wind projects in the US and Europe. As GE looks to heighten its role in the expanding wind market, the company hopes to promote Haliade-X 12 MW turbine technology in both the United States and abroad by 2021.

Massachusetts continues to play a leading role in the developing offshore wind industry. Governor Charlie Baker celebrated the arrival of the Haliade-X 12 MW turbine blade, praising the MassCEC and GE for their significant contributions to the growing US offshore wind industry. In October, the MassCEC was one of several recipients to receive a grant from the US Department of Energy to facilitate wind energy research. Many states, including Massachusetts, have also set important clean energy goals to work toward in the next decade.

With the offshore wind market expected to grow significantly in the coming years, the Haliade-X is paving the way for larger offshore energy capabilities. A 2019 report from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) noted that the United States surpassed a noteworthy 100 gigawatts of wind energy operation, with almost 6000 megawatts of offshore wind energy currently in advanced stages of development.

©1994-2020 Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume IX, Number 328


About this Author

Sahir Surmeli Energy & Sustainability Attorney Mintz Levin

Sa is a highly skilled and versatile business counselor who advises companies, boards, entrepreneurs, investment banks and venture and private equity investors, as they build and grow companies. He handles public offerings, 144A and private financings, acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic partnerships. Sa guides public and private companies and investors, primarily in the energy and sustainability, technology, materials science, hospitality, retail and life sciences industries. Known as a problem-solver, Sa executes transactions with creative structures to address new opportunities...

Member / Chair, Energy & Sustainability Practice

Tom Burton’s zeal for innovation and passion for energy and sustainability have shaped the clean energy industry. He created one of the nation’s first clean energy legal practices. Clients ranging from investors to entrepreneurs to Fortune 100 companies rely on him for creative and strategic legal solutions, and he has completed hundreds of venture capital and private equity financings, mergers and acquisitions, and IPOs. He guides the industry’s next generation of leaders through active involvement with start-up organizations and accelerators. The Northeast Clean Energy Council recognized his pioneering role in the Northeast with a Decade of Influence award in 2017.

Tom’s global practice focuses on complex corporate finance matters including mergers and acquisitions, venture capital, private equity, and securities transactions. He represents high-growth and emerging businesses, including companies in the energy and clean technology, social media and software industries, as well as life science companies, from start-ups to public companies.

In 2004, Tom founded, and currently chairs, the firm’s Energy & Sustainability Practice, which has completed more than 500 transactions across energy sectors totaling over $8.5 billion since 2006. Serving more than 250 clients, spanning the ecosystem from emerging companies to large corporations, venture capital and private equity funds, investment banks, project developers, and family offices, the firm is recognized nationally as a leading law firm in the space. Tom is ranked byBest Lawyers in America in the Corporate Law section, and he is recognized by The Legal 500 United States as “rising to the fore” in energy technology for Venture Capital and Emerging Companies.

On the corporate and securities side, Tom has served as counsel in the structuring and completion of over 400 venture capital and private equity financings, representing both the funds providing the capital and the emerging growth companies seeking funding. His work in this area has raised billions of dollars. He organizes venture capital funds and represents them in their portfolio investments. Tom is also a key contributor to MintzEdge, an online resource for entrepreneurs that includes useful tools and information for starting and growing a company. In addition, he devotes a portion of his practice to counseling social enterprise companies, impact investors, and nonprofit companies.

Tom routinely counsels businesses on their growth and development, advises their boards of directors on corporate governance matters, and participates in an array of transactions, from private and public offerings to mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and technology transfer matters. Tom also has experience in advising investment banks in private placements and underwritten public offerings of equity securities, and in their role as financial advisor in mergers and acquisitions.

He applies his background in corporate finance to counsel energy and clean technology companies through all stages of formation, financing, and exits. His energy and clean technology clients span markets such as solar and wind, smart grid and energy efficiency, energy storage, water technologies, waste treatment, biofuels, electric vehicles, and green buildings.