GE Unit Surpasses $4 Billion Renewable Energy Mark with NY Wind Farm Investment
With a goal of investing $6 billion in renewable energy by 2010, GE Energy Financial Services surpassed the $4 billion mark today by investing in New York State's three newest wind farms. The unit of GE (NYSE: GE) will invest a total of $100 million in the three wind farms, whose construction began last month.
"We have reached the $4 billion milestone justfive months after hitting $3 billion, confirming that renewable energy is our fastes t–growing business," said Alex Urquhart, President and CEO of GE Energy Financial Services.
“Such project–level investments—coupled with our venture capital investing in clean tech, GE's technology and research—reinforce GE's company–wide leadership in renewable energy.”Alex Urquhart
President and CEO of GE Energy Financial Services
When the projects are completed during the fourth quarter of this year, GE Energy Financial Services will invest equity as the non–managing member of the three New York State farms and Noble Environmental Power, a leading wind energy developer based in Essex, Connecticut, will invest as the managing member. With this new investment, GE and Noble will have co–invested in more than 80 percent of New York State's wind capacity. In addition to remaining a significant equity investor, Noble will construct, operate and manage the facilities, located in the predominantly dairy producing farmland of northern and western New York.
The portfolio consists of:
• The Noble Chateaugay Windpark (106.5 megawatts), in Franklin County
• The Noble Altona Windpark (97.5 megawatts), in Clinton County
• The Noble Wethersfield Windpark (126 megawatts), in Wyoming County
The portfolio addition is the second in which GE Energy Financial Services has partnered with Noble. In June 2007, GE Energy Financial Services invested in the Noble Bliss, Clinton, and Ellenburg Windparks, also in New York State.
Workers are laying foundations and installing turbines at the new wind farms, adjacent to the three wind farms in which GE Energy Financial Services invested last year. Two are located in northern New York, about 15 miles from the Canadian border and the other is in western New York. When the three begin commercial operation, they will increase the wind producing capacity of New York State by 47 percent. Using 1.5–megawatt GE wind turbines, the three wind farms will generate a combined 330 megawatts of energy—enough to power mo re than 110,000 average New York homes. In total, the farms will avoid 385,000 tons of greenhouse gases per year—equivalent to taking 64,000 cars off the road.
Along with helping GE meet its renewable energy investment target, this new capital for New York wind farms helps the state meet its Renewable Portfolio Standard. That standard requires that 25 percent of the electricity consumed by New Yorkers come from renewable energy by 2013 and is expected to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 7.7 percent, nitrogen oxide by 6.8 percent and sulfur dioxide by 5.9 percent.
"Wind farms provide not only clean energy but more jobs," said Kevin Walsh, Managing Director and leader of renewable energy at GE Energy Finan cial Services. "Local people have already been hired to construct the wind farms, build and plow the roads, and eventually maintain the projects. As we showed in a study we released last month, wind farms will create tax revenues for loca l and federal governments. In a world with rising fuels costs, this new form of energy—and the millions of dollars in economic benefits it provides—is truly America's new cash crop."
The GE Energy Financial Services study—which found that a federal tax credit for wind farms more than pays for itself through tax revenues from the projects' income, vendors' profits and individual workers' wages—can be found at http://www.geenergyfinancialservices.com/press_room/PTC_release.asp.
The total local economic benefits to the communities of the three New York State wind farms—in addition to Noble Bellmont wind farm, which is not involved in this transaction—is estimated at $305.5 million, according to Noble.
The Noble portfolio investment reinforces ecomagination, GE's program to help its customers meet their environmental challenges while expanding the company's own portfolio of cleaner energy products.
GE (NYSE: GE) is Imagination at Work—a diversified technology, media and financial services company focused on solving some of the world's toughest problems. With products and services ranging from aircraft engines, power generation, water processing and security technology to medical imaging, business and consumer financing, media content and advanced materials, GE serves customers in more than 100 countries and employs more than 300,000 people worldwide. For more in formation, visit www.ge.com.
TV news B–roll of a wind farm, from general archives, is available at: http://www.geenergyfinancialservice s.com/RenewablesInvestments/ Caption for Accompanying Images: The map shows the three wind fa rms that GE Energy Financial Services is investing in with Noble Environmental Power. The three New York wind farms allowed the GE unit to surpass the $4 billion renew able energy investment mark. Photo depicts the first turbi ne during the assembly of Wethersfield wind farm. Wethersfield is one of the thr ee that GE Energy Financial Services is investing in with Noble Environmental Power.
Christa Bowers GE Energy Financial Services (203) 339–1434