Following its successful debut in Europe and Asia, GE Energy today announced that its 2.5-megawatt (MW) wind turbine is coming to America.
The 2.5xl, which is the latest evolution of the company’s wind turbine technology, will be launched in North America in 2010. More than 100 of the 2.5-MW machines already have been installed in seven countries and have compiled more than one million operating hours.
In addition, GE has received more than one gigawatt of commitments over the next year and a half to provide the 2.5xl wind turbine for projects across Europe – enough clean, wind-generated electricity to meet the needs of more than a million households.
The 2.5xl represents GE’s most advanced wind turbine technology in terms of efficiency, reliability and grid connection capabilities. The 2.5xl is designed to yield the highest annual energy production in its class and 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 now installed.
The electrical system design of the 2.5xl, which includes a full-power converter, is 50 and 60 Hz compatible, which will facilitate the launch of the 2.5xl in North America. In addition, the 2.5xl design allows it to be transported with similar equipment as the 1.5 MW.
Most of the 2.5xl machines for European projects have been manufactured at GE Energy’s wind turbine facility in Salzbergen, Germany, which recently was expanded to help meet Europe’s growing demand for wind turbines. The 2.5xl units for North America will be assembled in Pensacola, Fla.
“Despite the economic downturn, we continue to see opportunities for continued growth in the U.S. wind industry and that growth can be accelerated as our customers gain greater access to the federal economic stimulus funds,” said Victor Abate, vice president, renewables for GE Energy. “Adding the 2.5xl wind turbine to our technology portfolio for North America greatly expands our capabilities to meet the diverse needs of our customers in these challenging times.”