GE signs 350 MW US wind energy deal

Wind Energy Projects Push Wind Capital Group’s Installed U.S. Wind Power Capacity to More than a Half Gigawatt. Deal Includes Operations and Maintenance Services for Both Wind Farm Projects.

GE (NYSE: GE) and Wind Capital Group have inked deals for 228 wind turbines and the accompanying operations and maintenance services for projects in Oklahoma and Kansas. This pair of projects will provide more than 350 megawatts of reliable, clean renewable energy for the Midwestern United States and create jobs and economic stimulus for local landowners and surrounding communities.

GE will supply 94 of its 1.6-100 wind turbines for the Osage project in Oklahoma, which will provide power to Associated Electric CoOps Inc. (AECI), and 134 1.5-82.5 wind turbines for the Post Rock project in Kansas, which will supply power to Westar. The GE wind turbines for both projects are scheduled for delivery in the first half of 2012.

“This purchase will help us to create American jobs, invest in rural economies and bring clean, domestic energy to communities across the country,” said Ciaran O’Brien, Wind Capital Group’s chief executive officer. “At a time when many energy projects around the country are on hold, Wind Capital Group is making substantial investments and expanding our operations,” O’Brien added. “This turbine acquisition sends a clear signal that we have a pipeline of high-quality development projects that we are continuing to translate into strong commercial assets.”

The two new projects will increase Wind Capital Group’s U.S. wind power footprint to more than half a gigawatt.

“Since signing our first agreement in 2008, GE and Wind Capital Group have worked together to launch successful projects that utilize our proven 1.5-megawatt wind turbine reliability and performance,” said Vic Abate, vice president of GE’s renewable energy business. “Wind Capital Group’s existing 150-megawatt Lost Creek project in Missouri using GE wind turbines consistently runs at over 98 percent availability.”

The Osage project in Oklahoma will use GE’s advanced 1.6-100 wind turbine, which is the world’s most efficient wind turbine when taking into account capacity factor in wind class. Abate added, “We are pleased to extend our relationship with Wind Capital Group as we work together to introduce advanced technologies that make wind more competitive.” GE’s 1.6-100 features a 100-meter rotor diameter and offers a 47 percent increase in swept area, resulting in an 18 percent increase in annual energy production compared to the previous models.

The GE 1.5-82.5 wind turbines for the Post Rock project in Kansas are members of GE’s family of 1.5 machines, the most widely deployed megawatt class wind turbine in the wind industry with more than 16,500 installed worldwide.

Formed in 2005, Wind Capital Group is an American company committed to harnessing a clean, renewable source of energy—creating jobs, generating economic opportunity and building a strong foundation for domestic energy independence. Wind Capital Group’s model is built on forming responsible partnerships with the communities in which we operate and providing long-term value for our investors. Currently, Wind Capital Group is developing utility-scale wind farm projects across the United States and has offices in St. Louis, Mo.; Madison, Wis.; and Chicago, Ill.