New York City, December 10, 2009 — General Electric (NYSE: GE) received a $1.4 billion contract from independent power producer Caithness Energy to supply wind turbines and services for an 845-MW wind energy project to be located in Oregon.
The wind farm, called Shepherds Flat, has received the majority of the necessary government permits to operate and is ready to be built.
“This project underscores our commitment to harness the power of wind to meet present and future energy needs while reducing greenhouse emissions. The Shepherds Flat project will add more renewable energy to the west coast’s energy mix and help the region meet its demand for clean energy,” said Les Gelber, a partner at Caithness Energy.
Stretching across 30 square miles of Gilliam and Morrow Counties in north-central Oregon, the 845-MW Shepherds Flat wind power project marks the U.S. debut and largest single global order of GE’s 2.5xl wind turbines. A total of 338 turbines will be installed in 2011 and 2012.
The Shepherds Flat wind farm is the first in North America to deploy GE’s 2.5xl wind turbine, which has been proven in Europe and Asia.
Caithness Energy estimates that the $2 billion project will inject $16 million annually of direct economic benefits into Oregon, and will employ 400 workers during construction and 35 during operation.
Construction will require the building of 85 miles of road and 90 miles of power connection to the grid. Construction will begin in 2010 and will be completed in 2012.
GE Energy Financial Services — with a portfolio of more than 40 wind farms with a total capacity to produce more than 6 GW of wind power — is investing in the project.
The 2.5xl wind turbines for the Shepherds Flat wind farm will be assembled at GE’s site in Pensacola, Florida.
Under three 20-year power purchase agreements, the Shepherds Flat wind farm will supply renewable energy to Southern California Edison, an Edison International (NYSE: EIX) company.
The development of the wind farm is made possible because of California’s renewables portfolio standard, which if adopted nationally in the form of a strong renewable electricity standard would propel the growth of renewable energy throughout the country.
The project will help California meet both its capacity needs and renewable energy goals.
With the capacity to generate two billion KWh per year of renewable energy, the wind farm will represent more than one-tenth of Southern California Edison’s overall renewable energy portfolio.