GE Renewable Energy Driving 3D Printed Concrete Wind Turbine Tower Tech

  • GE Renewable Energy today held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to inaugurate a new research and development facility that will conduct research on how to 3D print the concrete base of towers used in wind turbines.
  • The research will enable GE to 3D print the bottom portion of the wind turbine towers on-site at wind farms, lowering transportation costs and creating additional employment opportunities at the wind farms where the technology will be used. 
  • The 3D printer is the size of a three story building and can print tower sections up to 20 meters high.

The research being conducted in the Bergen facility is supported in part by a grant from the US Department of Energy. A team of 20 people will continue to work on optimizing the 3D printing technology with first applications in the field anticipated within the next five years.

GE Renewable Energy Chief Technology Officer Danielle Merfeld, who spoke at the event, said, “Innovation will continue to be a key driver in accelerating the energy transition. It is particularly important to continuously improve the ways we design, manufacture, transport, and construct the large components of modern wind farms. We appreciate the support of the US Department of Energy for the research we are doing here and are confident it will help make the wind farms of tomorrow even more efficient, economical, and environmentally responsible.”

The new 3D printer can print tower sections up to 20 meters high. Image credit: GE

The research being done at the Bergen, NY facility will enable GE to better serve the growing US wind power market. The American Clean Power Association (ACPA) reports that there are more than 68,000 wind turbines across the country are generating clean, reliable power. Wind power capacity totals 135 GW, making it the fourth-largest source of electricity in the country. GE Renewable Energy was recognized by ACPA as the top manufacturer of wind turbines in the US in 2021 for the fourth year in a row.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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