Wind Turbine Manufacturers Ramp Up Business

In time for last week’s major annual European wind energy conference, some of the big players announced new deals and expansions. There was an expected announcement from GE Energy, highlighting the commissioning of a wind farm in Germany comprised of GE turbines. There were turbine order contracts announced from other manufacturers as well. And perhaps most interestingly, there was news of a possible manufacturing expansion into the U.S. from a German turbine powerhouse.

GE’s major announcement took place in the Alsleben-Schackstedt region of Germany where 36 GE Energy 1.5 MW wind turbines have since been commissioned at the Alsleben Wind Project, one of the largest in Germany. Developed by EAB Technology Group of Freiberg, Germany, the 54 MW Alsleben project was acquired by GE Energy Financial Services (EFS) in 2005, marking the sixth of seven wind park purchases by the group in Germany that year. Construction of the project was handled by EAB Projektbau GmbH and completed by the end of March 2006. Germany’s equivalent to GE, Siemens Corporation announced plans to supply a total of 17 wind energy turbines for three repowering projects in Germany. Of these, seven wind turbines will be for the Marienkoog project, and seven will be for the Norderhof Wind Park in the North Frisian area, in Schleswig-Holstein. Additionally, three wind turbines are soon to be installed in Bremerhaven. The real Siemens news, however, came courtesy of the German newspaper Die Welt, which said Siemens plans to build several factories this year in the U.S. The newspaper cited industry sources at the European wind energy conference. Siemens declined to comment on the matter when contacted by the newspaper. The company currently ships its wind power generators to the U.S. from Germany. Denmark’s Vestas Group announced an order for 65 wind turbines totaling 107 MW of the V82-1.65 MW from the Wind Energy unit of John Deere Credit, of Des Moines, Iowa, the financial services division of Deere & Company. Deere & Company, which built its reputation and business on farm machinery and tractors, has increasingly been using its strong reputation among farmers in the U.S. to bolster its wind power business that targets projects in the American Mid-West. Vestas will supply and commission the wind turbines, and the order also includes a five-year maintenance and service agreement. Shipment of the turbines will commence in December 2006 and will continue until early 2007 with all turbines being commissioned before year-end 2007.
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