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GE Wins $1.4 Billion Turbine Order for Biggest Wind Farm So Far

Dec 10, 2009 - Rachel Layne and Christopher Martin - Bloomberg

EIA report for week ending 11/27/09
Our prediction coming Tuesday 12/15/09
Weekly change
-64 (down)
* total lower 48

General Electric Co. won a $1.4 billion contract to supply turbines and services for an Oregon wind farm that would be bigger than any completed so far and supply a tenth of Southern California Edison’s renewable energy.

GE, whose equipment generates one-third of the world’s electricity, will supply 338 of its 2.5-megawatt turbines to Caithness Energy LLC to be installed in 2011 and 2012 and will hold a 10-year service contract, the companies said in a statement. About 400 people will be needed during construction of the wind farm and 35 to run the plant, GE said.

The Shepherd’s Flat project, when finished, will supply energy to the U.S. west coast grid, including Southern California Edison, Les Gelber a partner at New York-based Caithness, said in the statement. The two-year construction project, to begin in 2010, entails building about 85 miles of road and 90 miles of power lines that will connect to the grid.

Shepherd’s Flat will provide enough energy to power 235,000 average California homes and have the capacity to generate 2 billion kilowatt hours a year, the statement said. GE Energy Financial Services will also invest an undisclosed amount in the project.

During the third quarter, customers of Fairfield, Connecticut-based GE installed wind turbines capable of generating 692 megawatts, or 43 percent of the 1,600 megawatts in wind-power generators added in the period, according to the Washington-based American Wind Energy Association. The GE Energy division is based in Atlanta.

Total U.S. wind power capacity increased 5.4 percent in the third quarter to 31,040 megawatts as project financing resumed and utilities sought to increase supplies of renewable energy to meet state mandates, the association said. Southern California Edison is a unit of Rosemead, California-based Edison International.

To contact the reporters on this story: Rachel Layne in Boston at rlayne@bloomberg.net; Christopher Martin in New York at cmartin11@bloomberg.net.