General Electric (GE) is speeding ahead on a number of renewable energy fronts. This includes continuing to build its wind turbine division, a new smart meter project, planning to build the largest solar plant in the U.S., keeping its successful Eco-Imagination project going and increasing clean energy investment and financing through its financial services division, among other things.
In fact, the Financial Services division is growing rather dramatically and has strongly committed to renewable energy. To date, it has invested in wind, solar, biomass, hydro and geothermal power assets with a portfolio over $6B. About 30% of the division’s portfolio is in renewable energy today, while in 2006 only 6% of the portfolio could be categorized as such.
GE Financial Services has been providing structured project finance using debt and equity, as well as construction loans, lease financing, funding for late-stage project development efforts, and venture capital for promising businesses.
Financing sources can be difficult for newer technologies and renewable energy projects in the face of the vagaries of Congress and changing policies, no true energy plan, a poor economy and troubled capital markets. GE looks to be making the commitment. An example of some recent transactions is found on its website, including:
|COURTESY GE WEBSITE|
GE is the largest U.S. wind turbine manufacturer but not the largest globally. It continues to forge ahead in this area. Just this week in June 2011, GE signed a contract to install 40 of its 2.5MW wind turbines at four wind farms in Sweden. “The performance of our 2.5MW series of wind turbines has been proven in applications across Europe,” said GE general manager for Renewable Energy, Stephan Ritter. (WindPower Monthly. June 16, 2011.) In fact, more than 400 of it’s 2.5 MW series (onshore) turbines can be found in France, The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Romania, Poland and Turkey. Last year, GE penned a deal for its 4 MW offshore turbines across Scandinavia in partnership with Statoil, Lyse and Gothenburg Energy.
GE broke into the Australian market this month as well. It won a contract for the 55MW Mumbida wind farm in Western Australia, which includes a 10 year maintenance contract. GE will install 22 of the 2.5MW turbines at that project, developed by the state utility.
… to be continued