GE Renewable Energy announced Tuesday from the AWEA Windpower Conference in Chicago that it would not only add 470 megawatts (MW) worth of new capacity in Iowa with the construction of the English Farms and Upland Prairie wind farms, but that the company had now installed over 40 gigawatts (GW) worth of wind capacity in North America.
Attending the AWEA Windpower Conference in Chicago this week, the global renewable energy developer landed with a splash after an already impressive 2018 in which it unveiled the world’s most powerful wind turbine — the 12 MW Haliade-X — and an order for the currently most powerful turbine — the V164-9.5 MW wind turbine, which will be installed at the 224 MW Northwester 2 offshore wind farm set to be developed in Belgian waters.
The lesser of the two big announcements GE Renewable Energy had for the conference — being held in Chicago across May 7 to 10, and bringing together wind energy industry leaders for the largest wind energy event in the Western Hemisphere — was an agreement with Iowa utility Alliant Energy to build two Iowa wind projects — the 170 MW English Farms wind farm and the 300 MW Upland Prairie wind farm.
For Alliant, the move is part of the utility’s larger plan to install up to 1,000 MW worth of wind energy in Iowa by the end of 2020. The new two new wind farms will be built with a mixture of GE’s proven 2 MW platform of wind turbines — including the 2.3-116, the 2.5-116 and GE’s newly introduced 2.5-127 turbines.
“Both projects will provide power for the equivalent of 180,000 homes in Iowa,” said Vikas Anand, General Manager for GE’s Onshore Wind Business in the Americas. “Alliant Energy and GE are making a real difference for consumers in Iowa and we are delighted to be providing our 2MW class turbines, including our brand new 2x 127m model.”
The Upland Prairie wind farm is expected to be commissioned in late 2018 and early 2019, while the English Farms site is expected to be commissioned in early 2019.
“This cutting-edge technology will help us advance cost-effective clean energy for our customers,” added Terry Kouba, Alliant Energy Vice President of Operations in Iowa. “As we add more wind energy, we’re working to keep Iowa a leader in renewable energy.”
Meanwhile, GE Renewable Energy also unveiled a significant milestone for the company, announcing that the company had successfully installed 40 GW worth of wind capacity in North America (Canada and the United States) — enough to power the equivalent of 11 million US homes. More specifically, 38 GW of that total has been installed in the United States over 15 years.
“We are committed to the North American Wind Market, as evidenced by this latest 40 GW milestone,” said Pete McCabe, President & CEO of GE’s Onshore Wind Business. “We win when customers win. We’re bullish on the future of wind in North America and look forward to continuing to provide customers with state-of-the-art technology and service offerings that enable us to enhance performance through the full life-cycle of their wind farms.”
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