Wind power is here to stay. As engineers work towards building a more connected and smarter energy grid, the intermittency of wind becomes less of an issue. GE’s newest gas turbines, which are able to ramp up and down quickly in response to weather-dependent wind turbines and solar panels, helps make the integration of renewables into the overall grid more efficient. In this wind-friendlier environment, GE Energy has announced a slew of deals in recent weeks to supply new wind farms around the world with its next generation turbines.
The biggest order was announced yesterday: GE will provide 228 wind turbines, or 350 megawatts of wind energy, along with ongoing operations support and maintenance, to the Wind Capital Group. 94 1.6-100 turbines will go to the Osage project in Oklahoma, and 134 1.5-82.5 turbines will go to the Post Rock project in Kansas. The first number in the name of the turbines series is the “rated capacity” of the turbine in megawatts, which is the maximum energy it can generate at its rated wind speed, while the second number is the diameter of the turbine’s rotor in meters.
GE’s 1.6-100 wind turbines are the world’s most efficient, when taking into account capacity factor in wind class. The 100-meter rotor diameter offers a 47 percent increase in swept area, meaning an 18 percent increase in annual energy production compared to previous models. Vic Abate, Vice-President of GE’s renewable energy business, said of the 1.6-100 turbine deal in Oklahoma, “We are pleased to extend our relationship with Wind Capital Group as we work together to introduce advanced technologies that make wind more competitive.”
Yesterday’s announcement followed a summer of wind turbine deals, including:
- 18 2.5-100 wind turbines for the Paldiski Wind Farm in Estonia, one of Europe’s most promising wind sectors.
- 10 1.6-82.5 wind turbines for the Bac Lieu Wind Farm in Vietnam, with a second phase of the project that would add up to 120 additional megawatts planned.
- Two projects in Turkey that will also use the advanced 2.5-100 wind turbines in some of the most extreme wind regions in the country.
- 22 2.5-100 wind turbines for the Mumbida Wind Farm in Western Australia, which will yield an estimated 55 megawatts of renewable electricity.