Marking its first wind turbine project in India, GE Energy is supplying 18 GE 1.5-megawatt units for the Nuziveedu Seeds Ltd. Wind Power Project. With construction being executed in three phases in Karnataka State, South India, the project will total 27 megawatts when completed by the end of this year.Atlanta, Georgia – June 3, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] Project Phase I is currently under construction at a site northwest of Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka State. Commissioning of this project is planned by May 2004. Phases 2 and 3 will be commissioned by December 2004. Each phase will feature six GE 1.5-megawatt wind turbines – the first installations of 1.5-megawatt machines in the State of Karnataka. The project owner, Nuziveedu Seeds Limited (NSL) of Hyderabad, India, is a leading hybrid seeds business. The company also owns wind power projects totaling 18.65 megawatts of capacity. The interest of private investors and developers in setting up commercial wind projects, combined with federal and state renewable energy initiatives, have been key factors in the growth of the wind industry in India. At the beginning of 2004, India’s installed wind capacity was 2,120 megawatts, by far the largest total of any Asian country. China, an emerging wind power market, was second with 566 megawatts. India’s untapped wind power potential is estimated to be 45,000 megawatts, and the industry is expected to add approximately 400 megawatts of installed capacity annually to help meet the country’s growing demand for electricity. Power from the NSL Wind Power Project’s three phases will be sold to the Karnataka State Electricity Board. Combined, the project’s three phases is expected to generate approximately 81 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year, or enough to meet the requirements of 50,000 Indian households. The project was approved by the Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited. “This is a milestone project for GE, as we make our entry into India’s promising wind industry,” said Steve Zwolinski, CEO of GE Energy’s wind operations. “With its strong interest in adding renewable energy capacity, India has the potential to be a cornerstone for wind energy development across Asia. With our reliable, versatile technology and global resources, we are well positioned to support India’s wind energy growth.” In addition to supplying the turbines for the NSL project, GE will provide technical advisory services for erection, commissioning, and operation and maintenance services for two years. While this is GE’s first wind project in India, GE is one of the leading foreign investors the country. GE employs more than 21,000 people in India, has a local market turnover approaching US $1 billion and exports more than US $1 billion of products and services from India to countries around the globe. Established in Bangalore in 2000, GE’s John F. Welch Technology Development Center was the first of its kind in India. The center employs more than 1,300 scientists and researchers, with more than 25% consisting of local nationals who elected to return to India from employment in other countries. Along with GE’s other global R&D centers, the center serves as a hub for engineering and research activity and is charged with developing the next market-changing innovations for GE businesses.