The EU currently has a goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions 20% while increasing renewable energy capacity 20% by the year 2020. To reach this objective, the European Union has set national targets for each EU member state, based on the per capita GDP of each country.
The Fantanele and Cogealac wind farms projects are helping Romania reach its EU commitment to increase the amount of renewables, including wind power, in the country’s energy mix. According to the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), at the end of 2008 only 10MW of wind generation equipment was installed in Romania, accounting for less than 1% of installed generating capacity.
In October of 2008, GE announced it will supply 139 2.5xl wind turbines for Fantanele, the first phase of the project, and construction in this phase is already underway. When phase two is completed in 2011, the site will have a total capacity of 600 megawatts of wind power, enough wind-generated electricity to meet the requirements of more than 400,000 homes.
The Romanian government has created legislation that is favorable to the development of renewable energy resources, granting significant incentives for wind farms and other renewable energy projects through 2015. This has encouraged investors and developers to pursue projects in the country.
“Romania is an excellent example of how good policy can drive investments in the energy sector,” said Rod Christie, President of GE Energy for CEE, Russia & CIS. “Good legislation helps to pave the way for projects such as Fantanele and Cogealac, and will help Romania achieve its EU-mandated renewable energy targets and modernize and diversify its energy infrastructure.”
The Fantanele and Cogealac projects are located in Dobrogea, Constanta county, Romania, which has some of the strongest wind power potential in the country.
GE’s 2.5xl Technology
The 2.5xl wind turbine represents GE’s most advanced wind turbine technology in terms of efficiency, reliability and grid connection capabilities. It is designed to yield the highest annual energy production in its class and builds upon the success of GE’s 1.5-megawatt wind turbine, the world’s most widely deployed wind turbine with more than 12,000 now installed.
Nearly 200 of GE’s 2.5-megawatt wind turbines have been installed in nine countries in both 50- and 60-hertz configurations and have compiled more than one million operating hours. In addition, GE has received commitments to provide the 2.5xl for projects over the next year that will total more than one gigawatt of capacity.
Most of GE’s 2.5xl wind turbines for European projects are 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.
GE Energy Helping to Meet Europe’s Increasing Demand for Renewable Energy
The latest evolution of GE Energy’s wind turbine technology, the 2.5xl wind turbine, is playing a growing role in helping Europe meet its renewable energy demands. This machine has been selected for projects across Europe that will add nearly 1,000 megawatts of wind-generated electricity in 2009, or enough to serve over 480,000 typical European households.
The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) has reported that more wind power was installed in the EU in 2008 than any other electricity generating technology. Forty-three percent of all new electricity generating capacity built in the EU last year was wind energy, surpassing other technologies including gas, coal and nuclear power. According to EWEA, the wind turbines installed by the end of 2008 will, in a normal wind year, produce enough power to meet more than 4% of the EU’s electricity demand, and avoid the emission of 108 tons of CO2 per year, the equivalent of taking more than 50 million cars off European roads.
“We’re very pleased that our 2.5xl technology is helping Europe expand its wind power capacity,” said Victor Abate, vice president-renewables for GE Energy. “Wind energy is expected to be a major contributor in achieving the European Union’s target to have 20% of its energy supply come from renewable sources by 2020 and we are committed to supporting that effort.”
The 2.5xl represents GE Energy’s most advanced wind turbine in terms of efficiency, reliability and grid connection capabilities and is designed to yield the highest annual energy production in its class.
The breakdown of GE 2.5xl wind turbine projects for 2009 reflects a growing interest in wind power in Eastern Europe, with Romania, Turkey and Poland set to install or commission 2.5xl machines during the year. Activity also remains strong in Western Europe where Spain, Belgium, Italy, Germany and France will install 2.5xl units during 2009.
GE Energy’s 2.5xl wind turbine builds upon the success of GE Energy’s 1.5-megawatt machines, the most widely deployed wind turbines in the global wind industry with more than 12,000 units installed worldwide. With a rotor diameter of 100 meters, the 2.5xl is the largest GE wind turbine available for onshore applications and was designed to meet the immediate requirements of Europe, where the lack of available land can limit project size. The 2.5xl has the capability to operate at sites with average wind speeds of up to 8.5 meters per second.
The 2.5xl machines for the upcoming European projects will be supplied from GE Energy’s wind turbine manufacturing plants in Salzbergen, Germany and Noblejas, Spain. To meet the strong European demand for wind turbines, GE is investing more than $100 million in technology and supply chain enhancements. In addition, the investment will increase GE’s European training and service resources and create more than 160 new jobs.
About GE Energy
GE Energy (www.ge.com/energy) is one of the world’s leading suppliers of power generation and energy delivery technologies, with 2008 revenue of $29.3 billion. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, GE Energy works in all areas of the energy industry including coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy; renewable resources such as water, wind, solar and biogas; and other alternative fuels. Numerous GE Energy products are certified under ecomagination, GE’s corporate-wide initiative to aggressively bring to market new technologies that will help customers meet pressing environmental challenges.
About GE Energy Europe
With more than 9,500 employees in Europe, GE Energy has plants in France, Germany, Austria, Spain and Hungary. The European headquarters of GE Energy Europe are based in Belfort employing more than 1,900 employees. A centre of excellence in its area, Belfort is the only producer of heavy duty gas turbines in France.
The sites in Salzbergen, Germany and Noblejas, Spain are centres of excellence for new generation wind turbines, while one of the four GE Global Research Centres is based in Germany near Munich. The Jenbacher plant in Austria is a leading manufacturer of gas-fuelled reciprocating engines, packaged generator sets and cogeneration systems for power generation. In addition, there are several plants in numerous European countries producing spare elements and services, including Hungary, Italy and Great Britain. GE Energy Europe owns a University in Florence, Italy, training employees and one engineering centre in Warsaw, Poland and also in Moscow, Russia.
GE is a diversified global infrastructure, finance and media company that is built to meet essential world needs. From energy, water, transportation and health to access to money and information, GE serves customers in more than 100 countries and employs more than 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at http://www.ge.com.