ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A General Electric spinoff will build hundreds of turbines for what will be the largest wind project in the Western Hemisphere, part of a massive equipment order and deal long-term service contract with global renewable energy giant Pattern Energy. .
GE Vernova officials announced the deal Tuesday, saying it represents the largest order for onshore wind turbines received by the company, both in quantity and in the amount of electricity the 674 turbines will ultimately produce when the SunZia wind project will be commissioned in 2026.
Construction is already underway on the SunZia wind farm and an associated multibillion-dollar transmission line that will carry electricity to populated markets in the western United States. Pattern Energy announced just a few weeks ago that it had finalized $11 billion in financing for the projects.
Donors see SunZia – described as an energy infrastructure project larger than Hoover Dam – as a critical project. The company has attracted significant financial capital and is expected to increase the percentage of the nation’s electricity from renewable sources amid increasing state and federal energy mandates.
In December, the U.S. Department of Energy reported that over the past three years, the private sector has announced investments of more than $180 billion in new or expanded clean energy manufacturing projects across the countries – including spending on developing larger and higher capabilities. wind turbines. GE is among the companies taking advantage of tax credits included in the federal Inflation Reduction Act.
However, after years of record growth, industry group American Clean Power expects less onshore wind power to add in the United States by the end of the year, enough to power 2.7 to 3 million homes.
Even though companies are now taking advantage of government incentives, it can take years to bring projects online, the industry group said.
The SunZia wind project will span three counties in rural New Mexico. Crews are already busy building the concrete platforms that will support the wind turbines, and developers expect the first wind turbines to be vertical this fall.
GE Vernova will tap its Pensacola, Florida, plant for this massive order as well as its tower manufacturing operations in New Mexico, Colorado and Texas. In total, 15 suppliers are present to provide the parts necessary to manufacture each turbine.
Vic Abate, president and CEO of the company’s wind business, called the venture historic.
“This project demonstrates GE Vernova’s ability to deliver on our industry-leading onshore wind strategy: producing fewer variants in large quantities at scale to improve the quality and reliability of the entire fleet of our customers,” he said in a statement.
In total, the company has more than 55,000 wind turbines installed worldwide.
The company has been working with Pattern Energy for 18 months on site developments designed to maximize turbine performance in central New Mexico and ensure the supply chain can meet manufacturing demands.
GE Vernova consultants also worked on the interconnection with the transmission line, and the company’s financial arm provided a tax loan commitment that helped solidify financing for the project.
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