First Wind, a Boston-based independent wind energy company, has selected GE (NYSE: GE) as its service provider for the company’s entire fleet of 264 GE wind turbines at eight sites across the United States. The eight-year comprehensive service agreement expands upon existing contracts with First Wind, and is the first contract to cover an entire fleet of wind turbines signed by GE to date.
GE’s agreement with First Wind will include operations, parts and on-site support including a comprehensive maintenance package. First Wind will benefit from GE’s latest high tech offerings, including WindBOOST, designed to increase wind turbine production; Winter Ice Operations Mode, which can allow turbines to recapture production in colder climates; and a full service agreement on wind turbine drive trains with the goal of increasing reliability and performance. GE also will provide an availability guarantee at First Wind’s wind sites in Maine, Utah and Hawaii. GE’s 1.5 megawatt (MW) machine is the most widely deployed wind turbine in the world, with more than 15,000 units installed globally.
“GE is focused on improving the performance of our installed base of 1.5 MW turbines. We believe this long term service agreement with GE will help us to optimize annual energy production and reduce the overall cost of electricity, both key factors for success in today’s challenging wind energy industry,” said Michael Alvarez, president and chief financial officer of First Wind. “The agreement with GE ensures the availability and reliability of our wind turbines, and the drive train maintenance package will provide us with long term asset management coverage.”
GE’s wind service solutions are supported by the company’s advanced technology, global resources and service facilities, and a network of skilled, highly trained local technicians who are closely connected to GE’s engineering organization. GE service agreements also give customers access to GE’s suite of turbine upgrades that are based on new product evolutions and the in-depth product knowledge that only an OEM can provide.
“As our historic agreement with First Wind clearly illustrates, there is a growing demand across the wind industry for flexible service solutions that enable wind projects to perform at optimal levels of efficiency and availability,” said Diarmaid Mulholland, general manager of wind services for GE Power & Water. “Our comprehensive portfolio of wind services has been specifically designed to meet those critical needs of our customers.”