The world’s largest wind turbine has smashed the record for the most power produced by a single turbine in a day.
Offshore from Fujian Province, China, the giant Goldwind GWH252-16MW towers above the sea.
On 1 September, the mammoth turbine — which has a 252-metre diameter — produced 384.1 megawatt hours (MWh) in 24 hours, as a typhoon hammered southeast China.
This is enough to power roughly 170,000 homes, or 38 million LEDs, or 2.2 million kilometres driven in an electric car.
It exceeds the previous record of 364 MWh, set in Denmark in August.
Why can the Goldwind Turbine continue to operate in a typhoon?
Most turbines cannot operate in typhoon conditions, and Typhoon Haikui forced many wind farms to shut down.
However, the Goldwind can adjust its blades in real time when winds reach high speeds, allowing it to continue generating power.
“We are closely monitoring critical components like the main control programme, pitch system and generators to gradually lift power restrictions while ensuring operational safety,” a spokesperson for Goldwind told the South China Morning Post.
The Goldwind GWH252-16MW rotor has a diameter of 252 metres — around 2.5 football pitches — and each blade can reach more than two thirds of the speed of sound.
Which countries are leading the world on wind power?
China leads the world on wind power.
In 2021, it installed more offshore wind generation capacity than every other country in the world over the last five years.
China alone accounted for 49 per cent of the 64.3GW of total global offshore wind capacity in 2022 — more than Europe’s 47 per cent.
The country is also planning the world’s largest wind farm, a facility so huge it could power the whole of Norway. Work on the project is slated to begin before 2025.
However, China’s green credentials are far from spotless, warns Li Shuo, senior policy advisor at Greenpeace East Asia.
“China is the 800 pound gorilla when it comes to the global power sector,” he said, speaking in April.
“China has no doubt been leading global renewable energy expansion. But at the same time, the country is accelerating coal project approval.”
The global superpower hopes to generate a third of its electricity from renewables by 2025. However, it plans to hit net-zero by 2060 — a distant target compared to many other countries.