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GE reaches $4 billion mark for wind energy investments  

General Electric, the world’s biggest maker of power generation equipment, said that it would invest a total of $100 million in three wind farms under construction in northern and western New York.

The investment by GE Energy Financial Services brings the total commitment in renewable energy to more than $4 billion, the company said Wednesday in a statement.

GE, the largest supplier of wind turbines in the United States, is expanding investments to take advantage of federal tax credits and minimum state requirements for renewable energy. Wind is the fastest growing source of renewable energy worldwide because it’s cheaper than solar or geothermal plants.

“We have reached the $4 billion milestone just five months after hitting $3 billion, confirming that renewable energy is our fastest-growing business,” said Alex Urquhart, president and chief executive of GE Energy Financial Services.

GE Energy Financial Services has or will invest in 76 wind farms worldwide with a total capacity of more than 4,000 megawatts. The company plans to spend $6 billion on renewable energy by 2010.

The Fairfield, Connecticut-based GE will buy the New York wind park stakes from the developer Noble Environmental Power, a majority-owned unit of JPMorgan Chase. Noble will continue to own an undisclosed share, complete construction and operate the facilities.

They include a 126-megawatt wind farm in Wethersfield, a 106.5-megawatt farm in Chateaugay and a 97.5-megawatt site in Altona. Combined, the turbines can generate power for about 110,000 homes, the company said.

GE’s power-plant unit is supplying each of the wind parks with 1.5 megawatt turbines.

When completed later this year, the turbines will increase New York’s wind capacity by 47 percent. New York utilities are required to buy 25 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2013.

GE fell 41 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $27.65 in early New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares have slipped 25 percent this year.

Bloomberg News


9 July 2008

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