Clean Power

Published on February 10th, 2014 | by Zachary Shahan


402 GE Wind Turbines To Get PowerUp Upgrade At 5 EDP Renewables Wind Farms

February 10th, 2014 by  

As I wrote previously, when covering the unveiling of GE’s PowerUp solution in Chicago, PowerUp is a predictive “Industrial Internet” technology that can boost the output of a wind turbine by up to 5%, resulting in a profit increase of 20% (per turbine). At the event, I got to spend some time interview Andy Holt, the general manager of Renewable Energy Services at GE Energy. Andy noted that right there at the unveiling of the technology he got a handshake deal agreed upon with a major wind energy client. In all seriousness, why wouldn’t a client adopt this solution — there’s no requirement to pay unless it results in greater efficiency/profit.

I think that first deal was probably with E.ON — a 469-turbine (703½-MW) deal I reported on back in November. However, another big client, EDP Renewables, has also just announced that it is working with GE to incorporate PowerUp into 402 wind turbines (totaling 603 MW of capacity) at 5 wind farms in the US. Again, these are GE 1.5-77 wind turbines.

“By using PowerUp, EDPR is expected to increase power, generating more than 420,000 megawatt hours of additional energy each year, which would provide the equivalent power used by 33,000 average US homes,” a press release about the agreement announced.

“GE’s PowerUp software will allow us to improve the power curve and increase the annual energy production of these 402 wind turbines,” said Brian Hayes, executive vice president, EDP Renewables.

“GE’s PowerUp platform allows EDPR to realize almost immediate benefits to their bottom line input today and also allows us to incorporate new PowerUp technologies as they are developed. PowerUp will help EDP Renewables generate a higher power output and return on investment,” said Andy Holt regarding this latest deal.

At which specific wind farms will EDPR be incorporating PowerUp? These 5:

  • Blue Canyon V wind farm in Oklahoma
  • Meadow Lake III wind farm in Indiana
  • Top Crop I, Top Crop II, and Railsplitter wind farms in Illinois

For more info on PowerUp, check out my original post on the technology. Or, here’s a quick summary from the latest press release: “When PowerUp is activated, a GE software program performs a complete before and after wind farm power performance analysis, validating the performance improvement. By adjusting performance dials, including speed, torque, pitch, aerodynamics and turbine controls, PowerUp is able to improve the power output of each unit and the overall wind farm.” Or, check out these videos:

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • NicholB

    wow .. sounds like GE has the monopoly on being clever, and thinking about the profits of their clients! And using sensors to gather data and software to optimise output, wow! And having client-friendly finance deals on zero-marginal-cost software that also gathers operating data that can also be used to optimise the hardware design of next-generation turbines. Or .. hmm. Really? It does seem difficult to believe that the older wind-tech companies have not already started doing these things? But one thing is clear: GE does seem to have invented the idea of using an actual word, taking from human language, to name their turbine. In stead of a letter+number combination. That was truly brilliant :~)

    • Bob_Wallace

      And why does GE’s system so chaff your delicate parts?

      People who are concerned about getting fossil fuels off our grids should be happy that some company, regardless of their name, comes up with a way to get more performance out of turbines.

      • NicholB

        I am quite happy. And it doesnt’ really chaff 🙂 But I’m a bit skeptic of the idea that GE is the only company that innovates in wind. I’d really like to see a comparison with other best practices in the field. It should be expected that each company has its weak and strong points, but that they all do their best not to fall behind in this race, in any of the possible metrics.

  • JamesWimberley

    Does GE really have a big lead on this over say Vestas and Siemens? The specific technology may be proprietary, but the “Internet of Things” is not, nor is the idea of better control algorithms drawing on more sensors. Where GE does seem to be unique is its risk-sharing model for financing upgrades.

    • jeffhre

      Please share with us the terrific Vestas and Siemens deployed better control algorithms drawing on more sensors. Sounds very interesting.

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