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GE Energy’s 2.5xl Wind Turbine Now Offers Extreme Cold Weather Capabilities for Challenging Applications in North America and Europe

GE Energy’s most advanced wind turbine, the 2.5xl, is now available with a Cold Weather Extreme (CWE) package. The addition of the CWE package ensures that the 2.5xl wind turbine can operate in temperatures as low as -30°C, and in survival mode without operation, at temperatures as low as -40°C.

GE made the announcement at CanWEA 2009, sponsored by the Canadian Wind Energy Association. The CWE package is especially important for wind turbines that operate in Canada where cold temperatures are common. Earlier this year, GE announced that the 2.5xl, already proven in applications in Europe and Asia, will be launched in North America in 2010.

The CWE package originally was developed for GE’s 1.5-megawatt (MW) wind turbine and has been adapted for the 2.5xl, which is the latest evolution of the company’s wind turbine technology. “With more than 4,400 wind turbines on cold weather sites, GE is very experienced with operating wind turbines under challenging conditions,” said Vic Abate, vice president of renewables, GE Energy.

The 2.5xl represents GE’s most advanced wind turbine technology in terms of efficiency, reliability and grid connection capabilities. It is designed to yield the highest annual energy production in its class and builds upon the success of the GE 1.5 MW wind turbine, the world’s most widely deployed wind turbine with more than 12,000 now installed.

With its 2.5 MW generator, the 2.5xl can provide more output for projects where land is constrained and because of its strong acoustic performance, setback distances to noise receptors can be minimized, enabling installation of more units on a given plot of land.

“Despite the global economic challenges, we continue to see opportunities for continued growth in the North American wind industry,” said Abate. “Adding the cold weather extreme package to our 2.5xl design greatly expands our capabilities to meet the diverse needs of our customers.”

According to the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA), Canada surpassed 2,000 megawatts of installed wind power capacity last year and is expected to exceed 3,000 megawatts in 2009. Wind currently supplies about one percent of Canada’s electricity demand, with the country’s wind turbines representing more than 2,800 megawatts of generating capacity, enough power to meet the needs of more than 860,000 homes. The province of Ontario is currently Canada’s wind leader with 1,162 megawatts of installed capacity, providing clean electricity for over 300,000 homes.

GE currently has a strong wind presence in Canada, with an installed base of 938 MW (39 percent) nationwide and 780 MW in Ontario (62 percent). GE is also a lead supporter of CanWEA’s “WindVision 2025” initiative to work with federal and provincial stakeholders to provide 20 percent of Canada’s electricity with wind power by 2025, resulting in an estimated 52,000 new “green collar” jobs and $79 billion in new investment nationwide.

Source : Communiqué GE

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