United States

United States

GE predicts strong 2016 as Alstom integration continues

UNITED STATES: Six months after GE finished buying Alstom's power business, the US-based conglomerate is predicting robust deliveries of wind turbines for 2016.

GE Renewables said it would deliver 3,050 wind turbines in 2016
GE Renewables said it would deliver 3,050 wind turbines in 2016

GE Renewables said it would deliver 3,050 wind turbines this year, including 100 from Alstom, compared with 2,860 last year and 2,809 in 2014.

At least five of the turbines to be delivered this year will be 6MW Haliades destined for Block Island off Rhode Island this summer, the US's first offshore wind project.

Yet the broad impact of GE's purchase of Alstom's relatively modest wind assets remains unclear. GE does not separate out its wind results when reporting quarterly and annual results.

GE's first quarter results were strong in large part because of the unexpected five-year extension of the production tax credit in December.

During the quarter, GE said that its wind turbine orders in the US grew 144% compared with a year earlier. The firm shipped 711 wind turbines, with orders for the new 2.X and 3.X products comprising almost 70%.

The firm's activities are still heavily concentrated in the US, which accounted for some 50-60% of total installations in 2015, said analysts. "As such the extension of the PTC and strength of the US market remains central to their global positioning," noted Dan Shreve of Make Consulting.

GE must continue to try and break out of the US market, warned BNEF's David Hostert. "There is a risk that the company may get side-tracked again to rely too much on their home turf with the recent [PTC] news," he said.

With the Alstom purchase, GE now has nacelle assembly plants in Europe, Brazil, North America, India and China. "So they are in a good position to pursue a global strategy," said Hostert.

The main overlap between GE and Alstom's wind business is Brazil, where GE is now in a position to consolidate its leadership, said Shreve.

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