Siemens Gamesa wins decisive patent case against GE renewables

GE Renewables now appears disqualified from competing for offshore wind orders in the US in the foreseeable future.
Photo: Siemens Gamesa/ Agentur Zenit +49 172 3120 333
Photo: Siemens Gamesa/ Agentur Zenit +49 172 3120 333

Just as the US government has allocated huge sums for a green energy expansion, it now appears that competition for offshore wind orders will end up being a two-horse race: Vestas and Siemens Gamesa.

GE Renewables has seemingly been disqualified from competing in the offshore wind market for some time.

This comes after a ruling in a federal court Wednesday, which reached a decision on a far-reaching patent dispute between Siemens Gamesa and GE Renewables.

Judge William Young’s ruling marks a decisive defeat for GE Renewables, which is permanently barred from marketing its flagship turbine Haliade-X in all US states, writes Recharge News.

Siemens Gamesa claimed that development of the Haliade-X was based on technology which the company had patent rights for, and the court found that GE Renewables ”literally infringed on Siemens Gamesa’s patents.”

Following this decision, GE Renewables’ existing orders to the tune of billions of dollars are in jeopardy.

GE and its all partners ”are hereby permanently enjoined for the life of the 413 patent from making, using, offering for sale, selling, importing or installing in the US” the flagship offshore turbine Haliade-X, the verdict reads.

Two offshore projects, Vineyard Wind 1 and Ocean Wind 1, are exempt from the ban due to public interest.

A GE spokesperson tells Recharge News that the company contests the verdict:

”We’re exploring all legal options to ensure that we can continue to support the growth of offshore wind in the US, including an appeal of today’s ruling.”

Patent 413 protects structural technology making it possible to scale turbines, and GE has previously been ordered to pay USD 30,000 per MW installed using this technology in royalties to Siemens Gamesa. The Spanish-German wind manufacturer was not satisfied with this outcome, appealing the verdict in order to seek a ban.

An appeal of Wednesday’s ruling is not likely to have any positive outcome for GE – even if the US company were to win it:

”It has a huge commercial impact,” says Chief Executive Officer of consultancy Intelstore Phiip Totaro to Recharge News:

”The outcome of the appeal is almost irrelevant. Even if GE is successful in overturning the ruling, it could be 18 months before that happens. They are losing precious time when it comes to selling their turbine in a growing market.”

Intelstore assesses that GE will lose orders of turbine sales to the tune of USD 16.3bn until the company finds an alternative to the offshore turbine.

According to the consultancy, GE has orders for 11GW for the Haliade-X, of which 9MW will be blocked from being delivered, while the remaining 2GW projects concern Vineyard and Ocean Wind 1.

Siemens Gamesa to squeeze GE’s flagship out of US market

GE wins patent case against Siemens Gamesa – on paper

Siemens Gamesa claims half victory over GE

Sign up for our newsletter

Stay ahead of development by receiving our newsletter on the latest sector knowledge.

Newsletter terms

Front page now

Further reading