GE (NYSE: GE) unveiled its latest wind turbine technology, the 1.6-100, at the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) Windpower 2011 Conference & Exhibition. GE has already secured nearly 630 megawatts of commitments for the evolutionary 1.6-100, which has been designed for increased performance in areas with lower wind resources. GE’s 1.6-100 is the world’s most efficient wind turbine when taking into account capacity factor in wind class.
The 1.6-100 machine combines the proven performance of GE’s 1.5-megawatt wind turbine series, known as the industry workhorse, with certified components from the advanced technology of its 2.5-100 wind turbine. With blades that extend 100 meters—a height of 33 stories—the 1.6-100 has the ability to capture additional energy, making it well suited to a variety of wind farm locations.
“This latest evolution of our wind turbine technology is designed to meet the growing requirements of our customers for greater efficiency, reliability and output from a megawatt-class wind turbine,” said Victor Abate, vice president-renewable energy for GE Power & Water. “By increasing the rotor diameter on the 1.6, our technology now offers customers the highest capacity factor in its class.”
The 1.6-100 wind turbine offers a 47 percent increase in swept area over previous models, resulting in a 19 percent increase in annual energy production at 7.5 meters per second. This allows for the turbine to deliver IEC Type Class II performance while operating in a Type Class III (low wind) environment. GE has been operating a prototype 1.6-100 wind turbine at its Tehachapi, Calif., site since February of this year.
GE’s latest wind turbine technology already has been chosen for multiple projects in the United States and in Latin America. Invenergy, the largest independent wind power generation company in the United States, has initially made commitments for 233 of the 1.6-100 wind turbines for three of their projects in the Midwest United States. This will provide 372.8 megawatts of power to the U.S. grid by 2012.
In addition, three Brazilian companies have selected the 1.6-100 for 256 megawatts of projects in the country. GE will provide 106 wind turbines to projects developed by Serveng Civilsan, 36 wind turbines to projects developed by Bioenergy and 18 wind turbines to projects developed by Oleoplan for a total of 160 turbines to be delivered in 2012.
“The development of the 1.6-100 wind turbine is another example of GE’s commitment to innovation,” Abate noted. “This new wind turbine offers Type Class II performance in a Type Class III environment delivering the highest capacity factor in its class.”
GE’s wind turbine technology is certified under ecomagination, the company’s commitment to address challenges such as the need for cleaner, more efficient sources of energy, reduced emissions and abundant sources of clean water. GE’s current product portfolio includes wind turbines with rated capacities ranging from 1.5 to 4.1 megawatts and support services ranging from remote monitoring and fault resolution to complete operations and maintenance support.