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GE turbine used by Vineyard Wind banned from future U.S. sale over patent infringement

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General Electric
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A prototype of a Haliade-X wind turbine is shown in this image from manufacturer General Electric.

The turbines scheduled to be installed next summer for Vineyard Wind 1 — the nation’s first utility-scale offshore wind farm — have been banned from future sale in the United States.

A U.S. District Court judge in Boston issued a permanent injunction Wednesday in a patent infringement case against General Electric, maker of the Haliade-X turbine.

But the ban makes two exceptions, allowing the Haliade-X to be used for Vineyard Wind 1 and another project, Ocean Wind 1, in New Jersey.

Klaus Moeller, CEO of Vineyard Wind, said the project can continue on schedule.

He said similar lawsuits are not unusual in the wind industry.

“So for us, it's something we've been working with before,” he said. “But of course, this one was quite intense, and we're just happy that it got solved for us.”

Competing manufacturer Siemens Gamesa sued GE over the design of the Haliade-X and received a favorable jury verdict in June.

The claims on which Siemens Gamesa prevailed involved its patent for a structural support system. The system allows the turbine to be larger, which means it can generate more power.

For the 62 turbines at Vineyard Wind 1, GE will have to pay Siemens royalties of $30,000 per megawatt — $24 million.

For Vineyard Wind’s second wind farm, Moeller said the company is considering three major turbine suppliers: GE, Siemens, and Vestas.

“For this site, with the wind speed and the soil conditions … what is the right fit? So we haven't made that selection yet,” he said.

Jennette Barnes is a reporter and producer. Named a Master Reporter by the New England Society of News Editors, she brings more than 20 years of news experience to CAI.