Illinois, Texas wind farms to benefit from GE investments

RP news wires, Noria Corporation
Tags: energy management

GE Energy Financial Services, a unit of GE, is partnering for the third time with leading global wind power developer Invenergy Wind LLC, by investing in Illinois and Texas wind farms that will produce emissions-free electricity equivalent to taking 96,000 average US cars off the road. Together, the two projects will produce nearly 250 megawatts of power.

 

GE Energy Financial Services is investing in the McAdoo wind farm in Dickens County east of Lubbock, Texas, and the Grand Ridge wind farm in La Salle County, Illinois, 80 miles southwest of Chicago. The McAdoo wind energy project will employ 100 GE 1.5-megawatt wind turbines. The Grand Ridge wind project will employ 66 GE 1.5-megawatt wind turbines. Both projects are expected to come online in the third quarter of 2008. Financial details were not disclosed.

 

The McAdoo and Grand Ridge projects together will avoid 526,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases annually and supply enough electricity for 70,000 average Texas and Illinois households.

With this investment, GE Energy Financial Services holds equity in 72 wind farms worldwide, with a capacity to produce nearly 4,000 megawatts of electricity. GE Energy Financial Services recently raised its renewable energy investment goal from $3 billion to $6 billion by 2010.

 

“To sustain growth in wind energy investment, it is crucial that the federal government renew the Production Tax Credit, scheduled to expire in December,” said Tim Howell, managing director and origination leader of renewable energy at GE Energy Financial Services. “Keeping the wind energy industry strong means more jobs and economic opportunities while helping the United States increase its supply of renewable energy and reduce dependence on foreign energy sources.”

 

The investments announced today build on GE’s and Invenergy’s growing collaboration on wind energy. Earlier this year, GE Energy Financial Services made an equity investment in Invenergy’s 129-megawatt Forward Energy wind farm in Wisconsin. In addition, GE Energy Financial Services has invested in Invenergy’s 120-megawatt Stanton wind farm in Texas.

 

Invenergy is also a key customer of GE Energy. This month, the Atlanta, Georgia-based GE unit announced it had secured a contract worth more than $1 billion with Invenergy to provide wind turbines for new projects. The GE unit will supply Invenergy 750 megawatts of wind turbines for North American projects to be constructed in 2010. In October 2007, GE Energy agreed in a separate transaction -- also valued at more than $1 billion – to provide wind turbines to Invenergy for US 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.

 

GE’s involvement in wind energy underscores its ecomagination program, the company’s initiative to help its customers meet their environmental challenges while expanding its own portfolio of cleaner energy products.

 

Both of the investments will help meet state renewable energy mandates. The McAdoo investment helps Texas achieve its mandate of 5,880 megawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2015. The Grand Ridge investment helps Illinois meet its requirement to supply 2 percent of electricity from renewable sources in 2008, rising to 25 percent by 2025.

 

About GE Energy Financial Services

GE Energy Financial Services’ 350 experts invest globally with a long-term view, backed by the best of GE’s technical know-how and financial strength, across the capital spectrum and the energy and water industries, to help their customers and GE grow. With $17 billion in assets, GE Energy Financial Services, based in Stamford, Connecticut, invests more than $5 billion annually in two of the world’s most capital-intensive industries, energy and water. In renewable energy, GE Energy Financial Services is growing its portfolio of more than $3 billion in assets in wind, solar, biomass, hydro and geothermal power. For more information, visit www.geenergyfinancialservices.com.

 

About GE

GE is Imagination at Work – a diversified technology, media and financial services company focused on solving some of the world’s toughest problems. With products and services ranging from aircraft engines, power generation, water processing and security technology to medical imaging, business and consumer financing, media content and advanced materials, GE serves customers in more than 100 countries and employs more than 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit www.ge.com.

 


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