GE Wind Energy

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GE Wind Energy
IndustryWind power
FounderJames Dehlsen
HeadquartersFairfield, Connecticut, U.S.
Area served
Key people
  • Jérôme Pécresse (CEO of GE Renewable Energy)
  • Pete McCabe (CEO of Onshore Wind)
  • John B. Lavelle (CEO of Offshore Wind)
ProductsWind turbines, sale and services of wind farms
OwnerGeneral Electric

GE Wind Energy is a branch of GE Renewable Energy, a subsidiary of General Electric. The company manufactures and sells wind turbines to the international market. In 2018, GE was the fourth largest wind turbine manufacturer in the world.[1]


Enron Wind acquisition era (2002-2015)[edit]

The entity was created as developer (not manufacturer) Zond in 1980 by James G.P. Dehlsen, who also formed Clipper Windpower in 2001. Enron acquired Zond and the German manufacturer Tacke in 1997.

In 2002, GE acquired the wind power assets of Enron during its bankruptcy proceedings while gas turbine sales slumped.[2] Enron Wind was the only surviving US manufacturer of large wind turbines at the time, and GE increased engineering and supplies for the Wind Division and doubled the annual sales to $1.2B in 2003. It acquired ScanWind in 2009.[3]

In 2011, GE acquired Wind Tower Systems LLC, a manufacturer of space frame wind turbine towers.[4]

As of 2016, GE has a nacelle production capacity of 4.8 GW, some of which is in Florida.[citation needed]

Growth and acquisitions (2015-)[edit]

After the acquisition of Alstom's energy generating assets (2015) GE's wind portfolio was expanded to include the 6-megawatt 'Haliade' offshore turbine (one of the world's most powerful turbines) from Alstom Wind. This became GE Wind (offshore). The same year, GE added Blade Dynamics Ltd., a designer and manufacturer of modular wind turbine blades with principal facilities on the Isle of Wight and in Southampton.

GE acquired LM Wind Power from Doughty Hanson & Co for an enterprise value of €1.5 billion in April 2017.[5]


GE Wind Turbines[edit]

Product name Power rating (MW) Rotor diameter (m) Hub height (m) IEC Wind Class
GE 1.5se[6] 1.5 70.5 54.7
GE 1.5sle[7] 1.5 77 61.4
GE 1.5xle[8] 1.5 82.5 59
GE 1.x-82.5[9] 1.6–1.85 82.5 121.25 IIs
GE 1.x-87[citation needed] 1.6–1.85 87 80 IIs
GE 2.5xl[citation needed] 2.5 100 85 IIb
GE 1.x-100/103[citation needed] 1.6–1.7 100/103 80, 96 IIIs
GE 3.x-103[citation needed] 2.5–3.2 103 98, 75, 85 IIb
GE 3.x-137[citation needed] 3.2–3.8 137 110–164 III
GE 3.x-130[citation needed] 3.2–3.8 130 85–164 II
GE 2.x-116[citation needed] 2.0–2.5 116 80, 90, 94 IIs/IIIs
GE 2.x-120[citation needed] 2.5–2.75 120 85, 110, 120, 139 IIIs, DiBT WZII
GE 2.x-127[citation needed] 2.2–2.5 127 89 IIs/IIIs
GE 4.2-117[10] (Typhoon class) 4.2 117
GE 4.8-158[11] 4.8 158 101, 120.9, 149, 161 s
ECO 80[12] 1.67–2 80 70–80
ECO 86[citation needed] 1.67 86 80
ECO 100[citation needed] 3.0 100 75, 90, 100
ECO 110[citation needed] 3.0 110 75, 90, 100
ECO 122[citation needed] 2.7–3.0 122 89, 119, 139
GE 3.6sl (offshore)[13] 3.6 111
GE 4.1-113 (offshore)[citation needed] 4.1 113 Ib
GE Haliade 150-6 (offshore)[14] 6 150 110 or site-specific Ib
GE Haliade-X (offshore)[15] 12 220 up to 150 Ib
GE 1.5-megawatt Wind Turbine

GE onshore wind turbines[edit]

The GE platform began development with the creation of the 1.5-megawatt series of wind turbines that were developed with the cooperation of the United States Department of Energy.[16] It consisted of three fibreglass blades attached to a horizontal axis hub. The hub is connected to the main shaft that turns a multi-stage system of gears. The gears increase the rotational rate and send the kinetic energy obtained from the wind to a doubly-fed electric machine, where it is converted into electrical energy. The angle of the blades and the direction that the turbine faces are controlled by an active, all- electric pitch and yaw system. The generator and gearbox are contained in the nacelle, which is further insulated to minimize noise emissions.

Several optional features support its presence in electrical grids, including voltage regulation, low voltage ride through, and the delivery of reactive power during grid disturbances or periods of low wind.

To further wind power research, a unit was commissioned at the National Wind Technology Center in late 2009. Its 10,000 installations in the US at the time constituted 50% of the national commercial wind energy fleet, influencing the NREL's decision to install a model at the Center.

The next evolution, the 2.5XL, used a permanent magnet generator, and its entire output was converted to AC at mains frequency. The platform was then moved back to the use of a doubly-fed generator and rotor converter, similar to the 1.5 series.

As of 2017, GE had over 35,000 turbines installed across the globe [1].

GE offshore wind turbines[edit]

The offshore GE 3.6 SL model was installed in 2003 at the Arklow Bank Wind Park.[17]

In the early 2010s GE cancelled its development of a 4.1-megawatt offshore wind turbine. The only example built, owned by Goteborg Energi, was erected in Goteborg in 2011.

Following the purchase of the Ecotècnia by Alstom and the acquisition of Alstom by General Electric, production started in 2016 at the St. Nazaire factory for the 6-megawatt Haliade offshore turbine, featuring a permanent magnet design. This unit started an extended test period in Spring 2016 at Østerild Wind Turbine Test Field.

Haliade-X prototype, 12MW

Key projects[edit]

The 845-megawatt Shepherds Flat Wind Farm in Oregon is the first windpark in the United States to utilize permanent magnet design in its primary wind turbine.

The Fantanele-Cogealac wind farm in Romania, constructed in 2008, uses 240 GE 2.5xl wind turbines capable of generating a total of 600 MW, powering a million Romanian households each year.[18]

The offshore GE 3.6 SL model was installed at the Arklow Bank Wind Park.

Through the provision of 179 GE 3.6-137 turbines to Markbygden Wind Farm in Sweden, GE will create the largest single onshore wind installation in Europe. Norsk Hydro will purchase the power via a 19-year fixed volume corporate PPA; understood to be the largest corporate wind energy PPA in the world.[19]

In April 2018, General Electric announced that it will begin testing the world's largest wind turbine – the Haliade-X – at its facilities in Blyth, England. General Electric's renewable energy department signed a five-year contract with the British government-funded Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult to begin trials of the 12-megawatt turbine.[20] A prototype was installed at Port of Rotterdam, producing 288 MWh in 24 hours in February 2020.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Vestas Leads Break-Away Group of Big Four Turbine Makers". BloombergNEF. February 14, 2019. Retrieved 2019-11-21.
  2. ^ "G.E. to Buy Enron Wind-Turbine Assets". New York Times. 12 April 2002. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  3. ^ "GE boosts offshore wind with acquisition". CNET. 2009-09-14. Retrieved 2018-03-14.
  4. ^ "GE Acquires Tall Turbine Tech From Wind Tower Systems – TechCrunch". Retrieved 2018-03-14.
  5. ^ "GE Completes Acquisition of LM Wind Power". GE Newsroom. 2017-04-20. Retrieved 2018-03-14.
  6. ^ "GE Energy 1.5se - Manufacturers and turbines - Online access - The Wind Power". Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  7. ^ "GE Energy 1.5sle - Manufacturers and turbines - Online access - The Wind Power". Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  8. ^ "GE Energy 1.5xle - Manufacturers and turbines - Online access - The Wind Power". Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  9. ^ "Wind Turbines | GE Renewable Energy". Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  10. ^ "Riders On The Storm: GE Is Building A Wind Turbine That Can Weather Violent Typhoons, Hurricanes - GE Reports". GE Reports. 2018-06-17. Retrieved 2018-07-18.
  11. ^ "4.8-158 Onshore Wind Turbine | GE Renewable Energy". Retrieved 2018-06-27.
  12. ^ Bauer, Lucas. "Wind turbines database". Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  13. ^ "GE Energy 3.6sl - Manufacturers and turbines - Online access - The Wind Power". Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  14. ^ Bauer, Lucas. "Alstom Haliade 150 - 6,00 MW - Wind turbine". Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  15. ^ "World's Largest Offshore Wind Turbine | Haliade-X | GE Renewable Energy". Retrieved 2018-06-27.
  16. ^ "Wind and Water Power Program: Large Wind Technology". 2010-07-12. Archived from the original on 2010-07-12. Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  17. ^ "Arklow Bank (Ireland) - Wind farms - Online access - The Wind Power". Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  18. ^ "GE says 600 MW Fantanele-Cogealac wind farm in Romania fully operational". Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  19. ^ "GE and Green Investment Group to Deliver 650 MW of Onshore Wind to Sweden". GE Newsroom. 2017-11-07. Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  20. ^ "General Electric to debut world's largest wind turbine in UK" Inhabitat, April 24, 2018
  21. ^ Vorrath, Sophie (7 February 2020). "World's largest offshore wind turbine clocks new 24-hour generation record". RenewEconomy.

External links[edit]