Sees Significant Growth in Wind Activities
Company’s First 22 Months in Wind Energy Indicate Growing Global
Interest in Renewables
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (March 29, 2004) — GE Energy’s activities in the
global wind industry produced more than $1.2 billion in revenues for
2003, a 150% increase above the previous year’s total, the company
reported today at Global Windpower 2004.
“The growth of this business within the GE Energy portfolio is a
clear indication of the tremendous interest in wind power, which has
become the world’s fastest growing energy source,” said Steve
Zwolinski, CEO of GE Energy’s wind operations. “With its
continuing technology advancements, wind-generated electricity is
becoming competitive with other energy options - a key factor in
positioning wind power as an increasingly important source of clean
energy for the 21st century.”
In the U.S., GE Energy’s wind turbine installations for 2003 totaled
873 megawatts of new wind-generated capacity, enough to serve the
annual electricity needs of more than 270,000 average households.
These orders alone represent more than 110% more capacity than
reported by the American Wind Energy Association to have been
installed in total throughout the U.S. during 2002, and represents
over half of the capacity installed in the U.S. during 2003.
In Europe and Asia, GE Energy’s 2003 installations totaled 630
megawatts of new, wind-generated capacity.
Underscoring the growth of the wind energy industry and GE’s
commitment to renewables, during its first 22 months in wind energy,
the company has more than doubled its wind engineering workforce,
quadrupled its R&D engineering support to the wind segment, and
initiated over 100 new wind energy technology projects. GE also
dedicated an existing GE facility in Florida to wind turbine blade
manufacturing and announced the 2004 opening of a new Global Research
Center in Europe with an added focus on renewables.
“We view wind as a natural evolution of our global family of
technology and service offerings and a solution that many of our
traditional customers will require in the decades ahead,” said
Zwolinski. “Synergies from several GE businesses, in areas such as
advanced materials, transportation gearing applications and power
controls, are being applied to our wind turbine technology. Our Six
Sigma quality procedures are driving further improvements in wind
Among the recent wind technology advancements from GE was the launch
of its 3.6-megawatt wind turbine - the world’s first wind turbine
over three megawatts designed specifically for offshore applications.
Following the erection of a prototype unit in Spain, the first seven
3.6-megawatt machines were installed off the coast of Ireland by GE as
a demonstration platform to provide new technology surety for its
GE’s 3.6-megawatt machine also has been selected as the technology
of choice for several other proposed projects, including Cape Wind in
Massachusetts which, if built, will become America’s first, and the
world’s largest, offshore wind facility.
GE also unveiled its 2.x series of wind turbines in 2003. Among the
world’s most versatile wind products, the 2.x machines provide three
different power classes (2.3, 2,5 and 2.7 megawatts) for optimal
generation at a wide variety of wind conditions.
A recent advancement in power electronics, GE’s “Low Voltage
Ride-Through” (LVRT) capability is designed to meet new customer
needs and enables wind energy, for the first time, to meet
transmission standards similar to those demanded of thermal
generators. Introduced in 2003, LVRT capability is now being built
into all of GE’s new wind turbines.
With wind turbine design, manufacturing and/or assembly facilities
located in Germany, Spain and the United States, GE Energy’s current
product portfolio includes wind turbines with rated outputs ranging
from 1,500 to 3,600 kilowatts, and support services ranging from
project development assistance to operation and maintenance. The
company’s knowledge base includes the development and/or
installation of more than 6,600 wind turbines with a total capacity
exceeding 4,700 megawatts.
About GE Energy
GE Energy is one of the world’s leading suppliers of power
generation and energy delivery technology, with 2003 revenues of
nearly $18.5 billion. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, GE Energy provides
equipment, service and management solutions across the power
generation, oil and gas, transmission and distribution, distributed
power and energy rental industries.
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