Turbine Bonanza: BP, GE Do Big Business

Those 262 GE wind turbines bound for the Flat Ridge 2 wind power plant in Kansas aren’t the only ones BP Wind Energy has purchased in recent weeks. According to the companies, BP has also ordered 88 GE 1.6-82.5 turbines – those are a bit shorter than the 1.6-100 units going to Kansas – for its Mehoopany Wind Farm outside Scranton, Pa.

In all, that’s 560 megawatts (MW) of wind capacity going to BP for $750 million, including the cost of a five-year service agreement. And yep, GE is happy. “We continue to see strong demand for our advanced wind turbine technology because of its capability to meet the economic and environmental priorities of operators like BP Wind Energy,” Victor Abate, vice president of renewables for GE Power & Water, said in a statement. GE has received more than 2 gigawatts (GW) of orders for the 100-meter versions of its 1.6-MW turbine since it hit the market earlier this year.

GE 1.6 turbine, BP Wind Energy

image via GE

Like Flat Ridge 2, Mehoopany [PDF] is expected to be online by the end of 2012, BP said. The 144-MW capacity plant is being built on a 9,000-acre site in Wyoming County, about 20 miles northwest of Scranton.

BP said that to date, about 30 percent of its wind “fleet” – which totals about 1,600 MW in capacity – consists of GE turbines. What is it BP Wind Energy likes about GE? President and CEO John Graham said it’s that GE “delivers proven wind turbine technology and competitive maintenance contracts.”

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

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  • Reply January 29, 2012


    I thought the whole idea was to have sustainability combined with consistency? Tidal currents are dependent upon what? Yes, the tides. Even a cursory glance at a tide book will reveal that they are subject to daily variations as to length, direction and intensity; and that that effect is subject to amplification or diminution according to both lunar and solar influences, which also cause seasonal changes in intensity. After all, once you poke a hole in the earth’s crust, the liquid and/or gaseous carbon product just gushes out at a fairly predictable and steady rate independent of solar and lunar forces, making it easier and more profitable to harness. I think here, the trick is to find the method and real-estate that will allow us to harvest the earth’s energy potential in a sustainable, consistent and profitable way. Without killing either fish or birds by tilting at windmills with whirling blades placed in less than ideally predictable locations with fairly consistent energy output potential, regardless of the aforementioned short term variables that keep getting in the way as they are now.

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