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Industry News
GE Energy to supply turbines for massive Oregon wind farm

General Electric has received a $1.4 billion contract to supply wind turbines and provide services for an 845-MW wind farm project to be located in Oregon. A total of 338 2.5-MW turbines will be installed in 2011 and 2012.

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Posted on: 12/14/2009
Source: CompositesWorld

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General Electric (GE, New York, N.Y.) announced on Dec. 10 that it has received a $1.4 billion contract from independent power producer Caithness Energy to supply wind turbines and provide services for an 845-MW wind farm project to be located in Oregon. The wind farm, called Shepherds Flat, has received the majority of the necessary government permits to operate and is ready to be built. When completed it will be larger than any wind farm currently in operation around the globe.

“This project underscores our commitment to harness the power of wind to meet present and future energy needs while reducing greenhouse emissions. The Shepherds Flat project will add more renewable energy to the west coast’s energy mix and help the region meet its demand for clean energy,” said Les Gelber, a partner at Caithness Energy.

Stretching across 30 square miles of Gilliam and Morrow Counties in north-central Oregon, near the town of Arlington, the Shepherds Flat project marks the U.S. debut and largest single global order of GE’s 2.5xl wind turbines. A total of 338 turbines will be installed in 2011 and 2012.

“GE wind turbines have a strong track record of performance that has been proven in nearly every form of climate worldwide. Their ability to continually advance wind turbine technology will help us to provide our customer, Southern California Edison, with the reliability they expect,” added Gelber.

“The Caithness project highlights our ability to deliver integrated solutions in the clean energy space and it supports our overarching focus to provide first in class technology to our customers,” said Steve Bolze, president & CEO of GE Power & Water.

The Shepherds Flat wind farm is the first in North America to deploy GE’s 2.5xl wind turbine, which has been proven in Europe and Asia. “The 2.5-MW wind turbine is the latest evolution of GE’s wind turbine technology and provides customers with greater efficiency, reliability and grid connection capabilities. The 2.5-MW builds upon the success of GE’s 1.5-MW wind turbine, the world's most widely deployed wind turbine with more than 12,000 installed,” said Bolze.

Caithness Energy estimates that the $2 billion project will inject $16 million annually of direct economic benefits into Oregon, and will employ 400 workers during construction and 35 during operation. The project will require construction of 85 miles of road and 90 miles of power connection to the grid. Construction will begin in 2010 and will be completed in 2012. GE Energy Financial Services  is investing in the project. In addition to supplying the wind turbines, GE will provide ten years of operational and maintenance services to the project. The 2.5xl wind turbines for the Shepherds Flat wind farm will be assembled at GE’s site in Pensacola, Fla.

The project will help California meet both its capacity needs and renewable energy goals. With the capacity to generate 2 billion kilowatt-hours per year of renewable energy, the wind farm will represent more than one-tenth of Southern California Edison's overall renewable energy portfolio. The project will provide enough clean energy to power approximately 235,000 average California households – according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency methodology – and will avoid more than 1.5 million tons a year in greenhouse gas emissions, compared to equivalent fossil fuel generation.

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