GE makes wind turbines, as President Obama’s recent visit to the company’s Schenecdety, N.Y., plant emphasized, and once in place those turbines demand attention to keep whirring. Who better to do the service than the company that made the turbines? That seems to be the view of wind power developer Cobra Energia, which brought on GE to provide post-warranty advanced services to 178 of their turbines in Spain.
The value of the 10-year deal was not disclosed, but GE said it was its largest such contract in Europe. Under the agreement, Cobra will take care of routine service on the turbines it operates, while GE is charged with “contributing advanced solutions for advanced unplanned maintenance, troubleshooting, upgrades and parts.” The agreement covers 1.5-megawatt (MW) GE wind turbines that recently came off warranty and others that will come off warranty through 2012.
GE touted that among the benefits a service contract brings to Cobra Energia are wind turbine availability, improved performance, extended life and predictable maintenance costs. Other features will include remote control of wind turbine operations and advanced troubleshooting capabilities.
GE has around 14,500 turbines installed around the world, and Spain is obviously one of its big markets. According to the European Wind Energy Association, the country had 20,676 MW of installed capacity at the end of 2010, putting it second to only Germany (27,214 MW). Those two countries together comprised more than half of Europe’s 84,074 MW of installed capacity. As in 2009, Spain gained the most new capacity in 2010, although its growth did slow from 2,459 MW to 1,516 MW.