General Electric (GE) announced yesterday that it had signed an agreement with Newcom LLC to provide Mongolia with the technology and supplies to build its very first wind farm.
The $100-million project will be situated some 70 kilometres southeast of Mongolia’s capital city, Ulaanbaatar, and is set to finish construction and open sometime in 2012.
Newcom is one of the leading investment companies in Mongolia, and it was only in 2010 that the two companies signed a ‘memorandum of understanding’ that would see GE and Newcom search for alliances in key areas such as energy, water, mining, aviation, railway, lighting, and healthcare.
“This is a milestone in the development of GE’s relationship with Mongolia and our teaming with Newcom,” said Vice Chairman and CEO of GE’s Global Growth & Operations John Rice. “We are introducing advanced technology that paves the way for renewable energy projects and underscoring our commitment to grow in one of the most challenging yet fastest-growing emerging regions.”
“Energy demand in Mongolia is increasing by 8-10 percent a year,” said Bayanjargal Byambasaikhan, CEO of Newcom. “Salkhit will help support Mongolia’s growing demand and also help facilitate further infrastructure development for railway, road and electrical infrastructure.”
Mongolia is looking to expand its renewable energy share to 20 – 25 percent by 2020, increasing from its current capacity of approximately 800 megawatts (MW). Already one of the fastest growing economies in the world, recording the highest growth in the world at 17.3 percent year on year by the first half of 2011, according to the World Bank, Mongolia’s energy demand is expected to double by 2015.
The Salkhit Wind Farm will, thus, supply 168 million kilowatt hours of clean power to the national grid each year. It is expected to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 185,000 tonnes and preserve 1.6 million tons of fresh water annually.
Home to some of the planet’s largest coal and copper deposits, both of which Mongolia is exploiting for neighbouring countries such as China, Japan, South Korea and other growing Asian countries, Mongolia is also home to vast wind energy potential that the country hopes will protect its environmental assets and support its growing population.
The Salkhit Wind Farm will have an initial installed capacity of 50 MW and will feed into Mongolia’s Central Energy System. GE will supply 1.6-MW wind turbines that will have an 82.5-meter rotor and 80-meter hub height for IEC class IIa wind conditions.
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