GE Wind Energy plans to expand its family of wind turbines with the introduction of the 2.x series, which will include 2.3, 2.5 and 2.7 MW machines designed for a wide range of onshore applications.Atlanta, Georgia – April 24, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The 2.x platform will round out the GE Wind Energy line of wind turbines which includes a 900 kW model; a 1.5 MW machine, one of the most widely sold wind turbines in the world; and the recently introduced 3.6 MW unit, the first wind turbine over 3 MW expressly designed for offshore applications to produce commercial power. “The new 2.x wind turbines will draw heavily on the experience we have gained from our installed base of 5,600 wind turbines worldwide,” said Steve Zwolinski, president of GE Wind Energy, a unit of GE Power Systems. “To develop this new platform, we conducted an extensive investigation of our customers’ requirements and optimized our technology to meet those needs. The 2.x platform is an excellent technology match for optimization of wind energy sites, especially where land space is limited.” With three different power classes and rotor diameters, the 2.x wind turbines are designed for use at onshore locations with conditions ranging from very strong winds like those found in the U.K. and Ireland (IEC class I) to low winds like those found at inland sites in Germany (IEC class III). The development of the 2.x platform combines the benefits of conventional drive train concepts, blade technology and electrical systems to produce an optimum power station with maximum availability. The 2.x machines are designed to use the same transportation methods and assembly systems that are being used for the installation of 1.5 MW class turbines. Like the existing GE wind turbines, the new 2.x machines will feature robust designs for reliable performance, variable rotor diameter and hub heights to enable the optimization of a wide variety of wind sites; and variable speed control and independent blade pitch for reduced loads and cost-effective operation. The turbines are available with dynamic VAR control electronics which provide transmission efficiency, and support the local grid through improved power quality by delivering dynamic reactive power to the grid at the time it is needed. The development of the 2.x platform featured synergies from several other GE businesses, including the GE Global Research Center, GE Transportation and GE Industrial Systems. The prototype 2.x machine is scheduled to be installed in late 2003. Commercial production of the new family of wind turbines is expected in the 2004-2005 time frame.