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GE Receives $1.4B Contract to Supply Turbines for Largest Wind Farm Yet Built in the US

GE has received a $1.4 billion contract from independent power producer Caithness Energy to supply wind turbines and provide services for an 845-megawatt (MW) wind farm project to be located in Oregon. The wind farm, called Shepherds Flat, has received the majority of the necessary government permits to operate and is ready to be built.

Construction will begin in 2010 and will be completed in 2012. When completed it will be larger than any wind farm currently in operation around the globe.

Stretching across 30 square miles of Gilliam and Morrow Counties in north-central Oregon, near the town of Arlington, the 845-megawatt Shepherds Flat project marks the US debut and largest single global order of GE’s 2.5xl wind turbines, which has been proven in Europe and Asia. A total of 338 turbines will be installed in 2011 and 2012.

The 2.5-MW wind turbine is the latest evolution of GE’s wind turbine technology and provides customers with greater efficiency, reliability and grid connection capabilities. The 2.5-MW builds upon the success of GE’s 1.5-MW wind turbine, the world’s most widely deployed wind turbine with more than 12,000 installed.

—Steve Bolze, president & CEO of GE Power & Water

The 2.5 MW wind turbine is equipped with a permanent magnet generator, delivering high efficiency even at low wind speeds. Compared to a conventional doubly-fed system, GE says, the efficiency in the partial load range is higher, resulting in increased revenues for wind power producers. Employing magnets instead of copper coils in the generator rotor reduces electrical losses in the generator and current flow through the rotating parts of the generator.

Under three 20-year power purchase agreements, the Shepherds Flat wind farm will supply renewable energy to Southern California Edison, an Edison International company. With the capacity to generate two billion kilowatt-hours per year of renewable energy, the wind farm will represent more than one-tenth of Southern California Edison’s overall renewable energy portfolio.

The development of the wind farm is made possible because of California’s renewables portfolio standard, which if adopted nationally in the form of a strong renewable electricity standard would propel the growth of renewable energy throughout the country, GE said.



This is GREAT.


No wonder GE wants to dump NBC-Universal and "focus more on its core operations"...


Great news for GE and USA. The country needs at least one thousand silimar wind farms.

Much larger higher power (5 to 10 mega-watt) offshore units would also help. They will probably become reality and common place between 2015 and 2020.

Large energy storage units will have to be developed to take full advantage of mor winds farms.


This'll give secure employment to many.
Inspire many more.


I'm very concerned about how this project might affect the Spotted Owl...this needs to be stopped.


I'm thinking about storage. A new type of thinking might be appropriate. For instance, principle generation moves to where ever the power is being generated. Solar moves across the country with the sun, wind with the storms, Principal production moves from solar to wind to hydro to tidal to back up DME power plants. Storage is in production of DME, hydrogen, and into individual auto-power-plants: charged during day, discharged at night.


Pumped hydro and CAES can store energy efficiently, it is time of use and during the day we use a lot. In the summer days we use even more. With wind, solar, gasified biomass methane and combined cycle plants, we can phase out coal fired plants over time.


Wonder what the land use impact is.


The land use impact is minimal, especially compared to coal strip mining and hydro.

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