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GE Wins $1.4B Contract for World’s Largest Wind Farm

windfarm5While General Electric (GE) has received a $1.4-billion contract to supply wind turbines for a project in Oregon, and a small wind farm project in New York gets the go ahead, a 122-wind turbine project in West Virginia has been halted due to an endangered species of bats.

General Electric Co. (GE) has won a $1.4-billion contract from energy producer Caithness Energy LLC to supply wind turbines for a $2-billion project in Oregon, reports Reuters. The Shepherds Flat project, with a total of 338 turbines to be installed in 2011 and 2012, is the first to deploy GE’s 2.5xl wind turbine in North America, according to the article.

The 845-megawatt (MW) project has already received most of the government permits required to operate. GE said it will be the largest wind farm in operation when completed.

The Shepherds Flat project will supply energy to Southern California Edison, a unit of Edison International, reports Reuters.

GE better watch out because Siemens fully intends to outpace market growth and become one of the top three wind turbine providers by 2012.

Andreas Nauen, CEO of Siemens’ Wind Power Business Unit told Electric Light & Power that the company’s strategy is to strengthen its position as a global market leader in offshore wind farms while expanding its global manufacturing in key markets and developing innovative products such as gearless and floating wind turbines.

As an example, Siemens recently won the largest offshore wind power contract, providing Dong Energy with 500 3.6-MW turbines, according to Electric Light & Power. Some of these turbines will be used in the world’s largest offshore wind farm when it is completed, according to the article.

In Martinsburg, New York, a 39-turbine wind farm project has just received site plan approval and may begin construction as early as next year, reports the Watertown Daily News.

Atlantic Wind, a subsidiary of Iberdrola, is proposing the Roaring Brook wind farm project on 5,280 acres and now must obtain a wetlands permit from the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, reports the Watertown Daily News.

The expectation is that the wind farm would be partially built in late 2010, allowing the 78-megawatt facility to be operational by the end of the year, and recommence building in spring 2011, according to the newspaper.

Meanwhile, a federal judge in Maryland has halted the expansion of a West Virginia wind farm because the large turbines would kill endangered Indiana bats, reports the Washington Post.

The judge ruled (PDF) that Chicago-based Invenergy can complete the 40 windmills it started to install but can’t finish the $300-million Beech Ridge Project with 122 turbines without a special permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, according to the Washington post.

The judge also ruled that the 40 turbines can only operate in winter when the bats are hibernating until a grant is permitted, according to the article.

The lawsuit is the first court challenge to wind power under the Endangered Species Act, according to the Washington Post. Invenergy has said that there is no sign that Indiana bats fly near the ridge, and had put up nets at or near the site in the summer of 2005 and 2006 to search for bats, but none were captured, reports the Post.

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3 thoughts on “GE Wins $1.4B Contract for World’s Largest Wind Farm

  1. Nuclear Power Plants = Clean Power + JOBS JOBS JOBS JOBS

    The creation of new nuclear power plants will produce great American middle class jobs. These great jobs are created in both the building and running of a new nuke plant. This can not be said for the building of solar panels and wind mills parts which will be done in China in order to keep prices down.

    Note this comment by Jim Rodgers the CEO of Duke Energy:

    “In an operation of a nuclear plant, there [are] .64 jobs per megawatt. The wind business–and we have a very large wind business–is .3 jobs per megawatt. In the solar business–and we’re installing solar panels–it’s about .1. But the difference in the jobs is quite different, because if you’re wiping off a solar panel, it’s sort of a minimum wage type of job, [with] much higher compensation for nuclear engineers and nuclear operators. If our goal is to rebuild the middle class, nuclear plays a key role there, particularly if coal is out of the equation.”

    Also, how are we being environmentally friendly when we purchase wind mills and solar panels from China? China electrical grid is run from power produced from the dirtiest coal plants in the world. They don’t even scrub their coal before they burn it. That means Solar Panels and Wind Mills = CO2 + heavy metal particulates + everyone’s favorite Mercury.

    Viva the Nuclear Renaissance,


  2. Jobs from china? All of the blades for siemens wind power used in the US are manufactured by a plant in Ft. Madison, IA. Furthermore, they have planned a factory in Kansas to manufacture and assemble the nacelles. Also, the towers they use are sourced from American contractors. I question those job/MW numbers but if they are correct then that means that nuclear power is less efficient than wind or solar. So basically nuclear power is more expensive per MW than wind or solar, and produces highly toxic waste that we have no effective means of disposing of. We DO need some nuclear power right now to suppliment energy from alternative energy sources that are not being developed as fast as they should be. I think a more careful analysis would show that there is not a great difference in job creation with wind and nuclear and that wind actually helps stimulate local economies.

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