GE (NYSE: GE) today announced plans to invest approximately 340 million to develop or expand its wind turbine manufacturing, engineering and service facilities in four European countries the United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden and Germany signaling GEs deep commitment to the promising European offshore wind sector.
Offshore wind will play a vital role in meeting the growing global demand for cleaner, renewable energy and has a bright future here in Europe, said Ferdinando (Nani) Beccalli-Falco, president and CEO of GE International. These investments will position us to help develop Europes vast, untapped offshore wind resources, while also creating new jobs for both GE and our suppliers.
GE plans to establish its offshore wind turbine manufacturing in the United Kingdom. In addition, GE will locate application and service engineering resources in the country and will bring partners and suppliers of towers, blades, nacelles and other offshore wind components to the manufacturing facility. The plan will result in up to 110 million investment related to GEs offshore wind business in the United Kingdom and could ultimately deliver nearly 2,000 jobs by 2020. This investment will follow the successful outcome of the UK governments infrastructure competition, aimed at supporting the development of renewable energy in the United Kingdom.
At the core of GEs European expansion plans is the development of GEs next generation wind turbine, a 4-megawatt machine designed specifically for offshore deployment. As the largest wind turbine in GEs fleet, it will incorporate advanced drive train and control technologies gained through GEs acquisition of ScanWind. The 4-megawatt wind turbine will feature GEs innovative technology that eliminates the need for gearboxes. This technology is already being demonstrated at a test site in Hundhammerfjellet, Norway, where the first ScanWind direct drive unit has been operating for more than five years.