AWEA 2017: GE confirms EC probe

EUROPE: At a round table event at AWEA Windpower 2017 in California (23-25 May,) GE executives answered questions that had arisen about the OEM's $1.7 billion takeover of blade manufacturer LM Wind Power.

The EC is looking in to GE Renewable Energy's takeover of LM Wind Power
The EC is looking in to GE Renewable Energy's takeover of LM Wind Power

On 22 May, financial newswire Bloomberg reported GE is currently being investigated by the European Commission for possibly submitting what the news service said was "misleading information" during a review of the company's purchase of LM Wind Power.

John Lavelle, president and CEO of GE Offshore Wind, told reporters at Windpower 2017 the probe is confidential and that it is not clear how long it will take.

According to Bloomberg, a source said that GE told the European Commission that it was not planning to expand into 12 MW offshore turbines. EU regulators subsequently said they found evidence to the contrary, a source reportedly said.

The commission approved the takeover in March.

Lavelle said that GE has not made a final decision on plans for a turbine as large as 12MW. "Like everyone we're looking at bigger turbines," he said. "In offshore, scale matters."

Regarding the LM purchase, Pete McCabe, GE's President and CEO of Onshore Wind, said that the blade company — because it has non-GE customers — will remain "at arm's length".

"We're keeping that Chinese wall to protect that.... But we will [also] leverage synergies to turn the industry on its head," he said.

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