GE Wind Energy Launched

GE Power Systems has officially entered the wind power industry with the acquisition of Enron Wind complete.

ATLANTA, Georgia – May 14, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] The new GE business, GE Wind Energy will be headed by Steven Zwolinski, who has been serving as general manager of GE Global Hydro. GE announced its intent to acquire the global supplier of wind turbine generators in February. Over the past three months, all bankruptcy court and regulatory approvals required to complete the acquisition have been received. “The wind power industry offers tremendous opportunities for growth and continued technology development,” said Zwolinski. “There are synergies from several GE businesses, in areas such as plastics, transportation gearing applications and power controls, that can be applied to wind turbine technology. And our global sales force can deliver the latest wind power technologies to regions throughout the world.” The wind energy sector is expected to grow about 20 percent a year, with an emphasis on Europe, the U.S. and Latin America. While Europe has been a focus of wind power activity, opportunities remain in places like France and Italy, which have very little wind power at this point. GE also will look for opportunities to expand wind power technology into other regions of the world, such as Japan and China, according to Zwolinski. GE has acquired Enron Wind’s fully integrated wind power capabilities including power plant design, engineering and site selection, and operation and maintenance services. Enron’s line of wind turbine generators includes units with outputs of 750 and 900 kW and 1.5 MW, while larger systems of 3.2 and 3.6 MW are in development. Existing wind farm assets will remain with Enron. The advanced technology acquired by GE has played a key role in the development of large turbines for on-shore and off-shore applications. The company’s largest machine, a 3.6-megawatt system, is being tested on the coast of Spain. The development of larger and more efficient wind power systems is making the technology a more cost-competitive power generation option. The headquarters location of GE Wind Energy has not been finalized but the acquired business has 1,600 employees worldwide with operations in Tehachapi, California and manufacturing operations there and in Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.
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