GE Invests in Third Airtricity Wind Farm in Texas, Again Helping Customer Grow in Booming US Wind Market
GE Energy Financial Services, a unit of General Electric (NYSE: GE), is helping renewable energy company Airtricity, Inc. grow in the booming US wind energy market and boosting its own portfolio by investing in a 126.5–megawatt wind farm under construction in West Texas.
GE Energy Financial Services is investing alongside Airtricity – the project developer and operator –– in the $231 million Champion Wind Farm in Roscoe in Mitchell and Nolan counties, 40 miles southwest of Abilene in a cotton farming area. This is GE Energy Financial Services' third wind farm investment with Airtricity and Airtricity's first project in North America not governed by a traditional long–term power purchase agreement. Additional financial details were not disclosed.
Construction of the Champion wind project began in May and is scheduled for completion by May 2008. It will employ 55 2.3–megawatt Siemens turbines, with power sold into ERCOT's West Texas electricity grid backed by a five–year minimum priced contract with Coral Energy Holding, LP, a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell plc. Airtricity and GE Energy Financial Services are also collaborating on the Forest Creek Wind Farm, a 125– megawatt facility 25 miles southeast of Big Spring, and the Roscoe Wind Farm, a 209– megawatt wind farm five miles north of Champion.
Champion will annually produce power sufficient for 35,000 homes and will avoid 225,000 tons a year in greenhouse gas emissions, compared to equivalent fossil fuel generation. The project supports GE's ecomagination efforts by helping Texas, which leads US states in installed wind power, meet its requirement to produce 5,800 megawatts of its power from renewable sources by 2015. Ecomagination is GE's initiative to help its customers meet their environmental challenges whileexpanding its own portfolio of cleaner energy products.
Worldwide, GE Energy Financial Services has invested equity in 50 wind farms, with a capacity to produce more than 2,435 megawatts of electricity. It plans to double its more than $2 billion of renewable energy investments by 2010.
"This third wind farm investment with Airtricity is a fresh illustration of a triple win – helping GE and its valued customer grow, while helping Texas meet its renewable energy target," said Kevin Walsh, Managing Director and leader of renewable energy at GE Energy Financial Services.
Airtricity North America CEO Declan Flanagan stated: "As more businesses and policymakers recognize the economic and environmental advantages of wind power, Airtricity is becoming one of the largest wind power operators in Texas, the state which leads the nation in wind energy. Airtricity is taking a leading role in helping America meet its energy needs, backed by our partner, GE Energy Financial Services."
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 information, visit www.ge.com
Airtricity is a world leading renewable energy comp any developing and operating wind farms across Europe and North America. The company has 13 wind farms in operation throughout USA, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland resulting in 455 MW. A further 11 wind farms totaling over 600 MW are under construction with a global pipeline in excess of 10,000 MW. The company has a supply business in Ireland with 35,000 customers. The company has almost 400 employees, a turnover of $230 million and has been most recently valued at $1.6 billion.
Airtricity North America, headquartered in Chicago, initiated its wind power development activities in the U.S. in 2003 and Canada in 2006. Currently, Airtricity North America has completed construction of 124 MW with a further 460 MW under construction and 700 MW in final stage development backed by firm orders for turbines for delivery in 2008 through early 2009. With an additional 6,500 MW under development, Airtricity North America is well positioned to capitalize on the significant growth of wind power in the U.S. and Canada. Airtricity North America has offices in Chicago, Austin, and Toronto. For more information, please visit http://www.airtricity.com/america/.
GE Energy Financial Services
Caption for accompanying photo: GE Energy Financial Services announced an investment in Airtricity's Champion Wind Farm in Roscoe, TX, that will annually produce power sufficient for 35,000 homes using 55 2.3–mega watt turbines like those in this photo of the nearby Forest Creek wind farm.
TV news B–roll of a wind farm, from general archives, is available at http://www.geenergyfinancialservices.com/RenewablesInvestments/