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GE Wins Huge Wind-Farm Contract

by Joan E. Solsman
Wall Street Journal, December 10, 2009

General Electric Co. won a $1.4 billion contract to supply Caithness Energy LLC with large turbines for a massive wind farm, set to be the world's largest once it is up and running.

The deal may ease some of GE's worries about the wind-turbine market, whose growth could slow dramatically unless the federal government requires more electricity come from renewable energy. Vic Abate, GE's vice president in charge of its wind-turbine business, had previously said orders for 2012 and beyond had been "extremely tight."

In the third quarter, GE's industrial businesses, which include its energy arm, showed signs of shaking off the recession's grip, posting a combined 4% rise in profit.

GE will supply 338 large, 2.5-megawatt turbines in 2011 and 2012 and provide 10 years of operational service and maintenance on the Shepherds Flat wind-power project in Oregon.

Shepherds Flat will be first North American wind farm to have GE's 2.5xl wind turbine, already installed in Europe and Asia.. The company said the 2.5-megawatt version "provides customers with greater efficiency, reliability and grid connection capabilities." Caithness's order is largest yet for the 2.5xl.

With building slated to start next year and finish in 2012, the project will provide enough power for roughly 235,000 households and avert the emission of 1.5 million tons in greenhouse gases that such production from fossil-fuel power generation would create. With a $2 billion price tag and an expected 845-megawatt capacity, it would eclipse the Roscoe wind farm in Texas, currently the biggest one in the world with 781.5 megawatts in capacity.

Under three 20-year power purchase agreements, the Shepherds Flat wind farm will supply power to Southern California Edison, part of Edison International. It will represent more than 10% of Southern California Edison's overall renewable energy portfolio.

Related Sites:
A Threshold Moment for Wind Energy and the Four Lower Snake River Dams by Interstices, 9/25/9

Related Pages:
GE Wins Huge Wind-Farm Contract by J. Matthew Roney, Earth Policy, 12/10/9

Joan E. Solsman
GE Wins Huge Wind-Farm Contract
Wall Street Journal, December 10, 2009

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