GE Energy has secured its second contract over $1 billion in recent months with Invenergy Wind LLC to provide wind turbines for new projects that will further increase North America’s rapidly growing supply of clean, wind-generated electricity.
Under the agreement announced today, GE will supply Invenergy with 750 megawatts of wind turbines, enough power to meet the requirements of more than 200,000 households, for North American projects to be constructed in 2010. In January, GE announced a similar agreement of more than $1 billion to provide wind turbines to Invenergy for U.S. and European projects to be built in 2009.
These agreements are among the largest commitments for wind turbines to be delivered in a single year in the history of the global wind industry.
“As these agreements demonstrate, the demand for wind energy continues to grow at a record pace,” said Victor Abate, Vice President-Renewables for GE Energy. “It is clear that abundant, reliable, carbon-free wind power will continue to play a key role in the energy future of this country.”
“This agreement represents our long-term confidence in the growth of this key renewable energy technology, and ensures that we will be well positioned to meet the growing demands of our customers for wind power in the years ahead,” said Michael Polsky, CEO of Invenergy.
With this order, Chicago-based Invenergy will have completed in excess of 3,500 megawatts of wind power projects in North America and Europe by 2010. Additionally, Invenergy has approximately 2,700 megawatts of natural gas-fueled power plants currently in construction or operation.
The American Wind Energy Association has reported that more than five gigawatts of new wind power capacity were installed in the U.S. in 2007, representing about 30% of the country’s new power generation capacity. Over the past two years, GE has provided nearly half of the new wind turbines for U.S. projects, reinforcing its position as North America’s leading supplier of wind turbines. Since 2004, GE has achieved a 500% increase in wind turbine production, and its wind business revenues exceeded $4 billion in 2007.
Despite the current high level of wind power activity, GE’s Abate sees the need for the U.S. to adopt “stable renewable policies, such as a long-term production tax credit (PTC) for wind projects. Such standards would sustain the industry’s momentum, creating more jobs and economic opportunities while helping the country to further increase its supply of renewable energy and reduce dependence on foreign energy sources,” he said.
Invenergy’s Polsky added, “A national renewable portfolio standard is a critical component to ensure meaningful growth of renewable energy in the U.S.”
GE’s wind turbine technology is a key element of ecomagination, the GE corporate-wide initiative to address challenges such as the need for cleaner, more efficient sources of energy, reduced emissions and abundant sources of clean water.