Coal, Gas

GE developing larger wind turbines

11 November 2003 – General Electric Corp. is developing ever-larger wind turbines, which it intends to market primarily in Europe starting next year.

GE Wind Energy President Steve Zwolinski said the company plans to market three new types of power generating wind turbines with capacities of 2.3 MW, 2 .5 MW and 2.7 MW. These giant windmills are made mainly for offshore use, which is the general trend in European countries such as Germany, Spain and the U.K . It costs $3.7m-$4.6m to build one windmill.

GE Wind Energy has developed a unit as large as 3.6mw and has built a prototype for evaluation in Spain. The company has also won an order in Ireland to set up a plant with seven large turbines for a combined output of 25.2mw.

Some of these giant windmills may eventually find their way to Japan. In Japan, mountaintop locations are more common sites for wind farms, with most turbines generating around 1.5 MW. For the time being, GE Wind Energy will market primarily turbines of that class in Japan either directly or together with its
partner, Japan Wind Development Co.

Zwolinski said the 1.5 MW machines are the core of the market and are likely to remain so for the next five years.