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United States

GE signs first orders for 2.5-120 turbine

UNITED STATES: GE today announced it had secured the first orders for its low wind 2.5-120 turbine.

Invenergy has ordered three units as part of an 86-turbine deal with GE for its Mills County, Texas, wind farm.

The deal follows GE's announcement at the start of April that it had installed and was testing the first of its 2.5-120 turbines a site in Wieringermeer in the north of the Netherlands. The turbines are also scheduled to be installed and tested this year at the Goldthwaite Wind Energy facility, currently under construction in central Texas. The project is expected to commence full commercial operation by the end of 2013.

GE says the machine, which is being targeted at the low-wind market, is 25% more efficient and has a 15% higher power output compared with earlier 2.5MW models.

It is the first wind turbine to incorporate short-term battery storage as part of the turbine. The design integrates GE's Durathon Battery technology with three software applications that enable power producers and the wind turbines themselves to predict power production in 15-60-minute increments.

Other features include a 139-metre tower, which GE hopes will be suitable for forested areas in Europe and Canada. It has described the machine as the "world's most efficient high-output wind turbine".

"With rapid expansion of the United States wind industry over the past five years, wind power plays an increasingly important role in America's energy mix," said Keith Longtin, general manager, wind product line for GE's renewable energy business.

"This new marriage of battery storage and advanced software within a wind turbine allows forward-thinking wind energy producers like Invenergy to shift the winds in its favour—increasing wind power's efficiency and short-term predictability."

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