Way back in 1902, GE installed the first hydroelectric power plant in India. Since then, it has expanded its operations in the country, and now employs over 14,000 people. Now, GE Energy Financial Services will invest $50 million in a new $115 million venture to develop wind power in India. GE will support the development of 500 megawatts (MW) of India-based Greenko Group‘s 1,000 MW of planned wind projects across four Indian states. Once operational, a 500-MW wind portfolio could generate enough renewable electricity to power 875,000 average Indian households.
Formed in 2006, Greenko operates 183 MW of energy capacity across India, including seven hydroelectric power plants, six biomass plants and one gas/liquid fuel-based plant, with 1,600 MW of projects under development, including 1,000 MW of wind power. Wind projects under the Greenko Wind Project Private Limited joint venture will be developed in the Indian states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Rajasthan. The first project, the 65-MW Ratnagiri wind power plant in Maharashtra, is scheduled for completion in December. The plant will use 1.6-MW turbines – specifically designed for low and medium wind speeds – that will be assembled at GE’s facility in Pune, India.
The Indian government has set a target of generating 15 percent of the country’s energy from renewable sources by 2020. Greenko estimates that less than 25 percent of India’s wind resource has been harnessed to date.
“Wind power is an increasingly important part of the Indian energy market, and through our partnership with GE, a global energy leader, we are well positioned to play an important role in helping to meet the country’s energy needs with clean power using advanced technology,” said Anil Kumar Chalamalasetty, CEO and managing director of Greenko.