25 November 2002 – GE Wind Energy has won an order to supply 34 wind turbines for a 50 MW project in southwest Minnesota currently being developed by PacifiCorp Power Marketing, Inc (PPM), a US subsidiary of Scottish Power.
The project is being developed as a result of a 2001 all-source solicitation award for new electrical capacity initiated by Northern States Power Company (NSP) – now a part of Xcel Energy, one of the largest US purchasers of wind generated electricity. The all-source solicitation, based on a competitive bidding process, was open to all forms of electrical generation.
“We are very pleased to be a part of this all-source project and view this solicitation award as a wind industry milestone,” said Steven Zwolinski, president and CEO of GE Wind Energy. “With wind power’s competitive economics, high reliability, and environmental benefits wind power is becoming increasingly popular and more widely recognized as a viable energy solution throughout the energy industry.”
The project, referred to as the Moraine Wind Power Project, is expected to enter commercial operation in the fall of 2003. Located near Chandler, Minnesota, the project will supply wind-generated electricity to Xcel Energy through a long-term power purchase agreement. According to the American Wind Energy Association, once completed, the project will provide enough clean, green capacity to supply the annual electricity needs of more than 19 000 average American homes.
The project will feature GE’s 1.5 MW machine, one of the most widely sold wind turbines in the world, which will be manufactured at GE Wind Energy’s California manufacturing facility. With a height of 328 feet (about as tall as a 32 story building), and a rotor diameter of 70.5 meters (larger than the wingspan of a 747 Jumbo Jet), the 1.5 machine is the largest wind turbine manufactured in the United States.
PPM, both developer and owner of the project, has a portfolio of 1000 MW of wind and gas generation, and plans to secure 2000 MW of new wind power in the next 5-7 years.
GE Wind Energy, a GE Power Systems business, designs and manufactures commercial-size wind turbines with models from 900 to 3600 kW and offers a full portfolio of support services ranging from project development to operation
Worldwide, the company has developed and/or sold over 5400 wind turbines with a rated capacity exceeding 3000 MW. GE Wind Energy employs more than 1500 people worldwide. Its manufacturing facilities are located in Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and the US.