Wind energy highlights for November 2014

Wind power breaks records in the U.K., GE blade breaks and GE-Alstom deal moves ahead.

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Wind Power Hits New Highs in the U.K.
Citing National Grid statistics, London-based renewable energy trade association RenewableUK reports that wind energy hit a record high on Oct. 20, providing a 24 percent daily share of the U.K's electricity needs and beating the previous record of 22 percent set in August. The previous peak half-hour record of 7,920 MW was also broken with an October high of 8,100 MW, enough to power 17 million homes at the time of generation. In addition, the statistics show that wind power generated more than nuclear for an unprecedented 11 full days in October.

GE Blade Crashes at Pennsylvania Wind Farm
In the U.S., the 141 MW Mehoopany Wind Farm (Wyoming County, Pa.) reported that a 1.6 MW wind turbine made by GE Wind Energy (Fairfield, Conn.) lost a blade which crashed to the ground during the early morning hours of Nov. 2. A statement from farm co-owner BP Wind Energy (Houston, Tex.) said there were no injuries nor was any property harmed.

According to GE, this incedent involves a 40.3m/132-ft long blade and is unrelated to a series of previous failures with its 48.7m/160-ft blades. A company spokesperson said it is working with the wind farm's operator "to assign a team to perform a thorough investigation to identify the root cause, take appropriate corrective action and bring the turbine back online as soon as possible.”

French Government Officially Approves GE-Alstom Deal
U.S.-based General Electric's massive deal to buy the energy assets of France-based conglomerate Alstom (Levallois-Perret, France) has moved several steps forward, as the French government and other stakeholders have officially signed off on the agreement. Now, the acquisition is slated for an Alstom shareholder vote in December.

As part of the agreement between GE and Alstom, the companies will form 50/50 joint ventures, including one in Alstom’s offshore wind business. When the transaction is complete, Alstom says it will focus on its transport business.