GE-Prowind Agreement with Grid Operator Transelectrica Addresses Grid Requirements; Four New Wind Farms to Support Employment and Generate Needed Revenues in Vaslui County; Romania Initiative Underscores GE’s Growing Role in Supporting Europe’s Renewable Energy Expansion Goals.
A 300-megawatt (MW) grid-connection agreement between Romania’s grid operator Transelectrica, and a joint venture between GE (NYSE: GE) and German wind farm developer Prowind GmbH, will play a major role in the expansion of Romania’s wind power sector. It will pave the way for Prowind, a renewable energy provider, to build four wind farms in northeastern Romania.
The agreement covers the connection of the joint venture’s wind farms to Transelectrica’s new substation being built near the small town of Banca. The four projects are located in the hills of Vaslui County, a sparsely populated agricultural area of northeastern Romania. Windelcon, a Romanian wind project development company, is conducting the local development efforts.
“Our wind farm projects in the Vaslui County will offer major benefits in terms of employment and tax revenues to help improve the quality of life and services for residents and businesses while also supporting Romania’s national economic and environmental goals,” said Johannes Busmann, founder and owner of Prowind GmbH.
The four wind farms are being developed as separate, special purpose companies (SPCs), with PWI serving as grid connection provider. Under Transelectrica’s grid connection agreement with PWI, the wind farms would supply up to 300 MW to the regional grid.
GE plans to supply a total of 120 of the company’s 2.5-100 class wind turbines for the four wind farms. The final schedule for shipment, installation and commercial operation of GE’s wind turbines has not yet been determined, but shipments could begin in the second half of 2012.
“This grid-connection agreement with Transelectrica is a significant step forward in GE and Prowind’s efforts to support the Romanian government’s renewable energy plans,” said Carmen Neagu, region executive of GE Energy for South East Europe. “Grid interconnection agreements play a vital role in ensuring the transmission infrastructure is in place to allow Romania and other countries to meet their energy supply and environmental obligations.”
The projects are in line with Romania’s plans to produce 24 percent of its energy from renewable sources by the year 2020. The European Commission recently approved Romania’s plan to provide incentives for an increased use of renewable energy. With some of the strongest wind conditions in Europe, Romania has the potential to harness enough wind power to meet the electricity needs of one-quarter of the country’s 8 million households.
The GE-Prowind projects in Romania are part of GE’s broader strategy to supply its advanced wind energy technology and services for a growing number of projects throughout Europe as various countries seek to meet their renewable energy production and emissions-reduction targets.
Nearly 500 of GE’s onshore 2.5 series wind turbines have been installed, primarily at projects in European countries including Romania, France, Holland, Turkey, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Italy and Poland. The 2.5 series leverages the proven technology of GE’s popular 1.5-megawatt wind turbine, the world’s most widely deployed megawatt-class wind turbine with nearly 16,500 units installed.
GE’s onshore 2.5 series wind turbines is being used at the world’s largest wind farm projects including CEZ Romania’s Fantanele, which together with Cogealac wind farm will make up Europe’s largest onshore project.
Prowind GmbH (prowind.com) is a project developer for renewable energy. Based in Osnabrück, Germany, Prowind has designed, financed and constructed more than 20 wind energy, solar and biogas power plants in Germany. Prowind’s other office is located in Kemptville, Ontario in Canada. Prowind also has partners in England, Ireland and Romania. The Prowind team is made up of specialists with many years of experience in the renewable energy sector.
As a full-service provider, Prowind GmbH provides project planning, financing, construction as well as technical and operational management for its customers and partners. Now also operating internationally, Prowind has wind farms in Germany, Canada, the UK, France and Romania. The company also has solar plants in Italy that are currently in the development and approval phase.